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This book is dedicated to a man who doesn't 
need to read it — Lowell Thomas. 


I want to thank Miss Villa Stiles from the north-west 
corner of my heart for all she has done to help me in 
the preparation of this book and How to Win Friends 
and Influence People. 


Preface: How This Book Was Written — and Why 1 

Part One 



1 : Live in “Day-tight Compartments " 7 

2: A Magic Formula for Solving Worry Situations 18 

3: What Worry May Do to You 25 

Part Two 

4: How to Analyse and Solve Worry Problems 37 

5: How to Eliminate Fifty Per Cent of Your Business 

Worries 44 

Nine Suggestions on How to Get the Most Out of 

This Book 49 

Part Three 



6: How to Crowd Worry out of Your Mind 53 

7: Don't Let the Beetles Get You Down 62 

8: A Law That Will Outlaw Many of Your Worries 69 

9: Co-operate with the Inevitable 16 

10: Put a “ Stop-Loss " Order on Your Worries 86 

1 1 : Don't Try to Saw Sawdust 93 

Part Four 


12: Eight Words That Can Transform Your Life 




1 3 : The High Cost of Getting Even - 113 

14: If You Do This 3 You Will Never Worry About 

Ingratitude 122 

15: Would You Take a Million Dollars for What You 

Have? 129 

16: Find Yourself and Be Yourself: Remember There Is 

No One Else on Earth Like You 136 

17: If You Have a Lemon , Make a Lemonade 143 

18: How to Cure Melancholy in Fourteen Days 151 

Part Five 

19: How My Mother and Father Conquered Worry 166 

Part Six 


20: Remember That No One Ever Kicks a Dead Dog 185 

21 : Do This — and Criticism Can't Hurt You 189 

22 : Fool Things I Have Done 193 

Part Seven 


23 : How to Add One Hour a Day to Your Waking Life 199 

24: What Makes You Tired — and What You Can Do 

About It * 204 

25: How the Housewife Can Avoid Fatigue — and Keep 

Looking Young! 209 

26: Four Good Working Habits That Will Help Prevent 

Fatigue and Worry 2 1 5 

27 : How to Banish the Boredom That Produces Fatigue ; 

Worry , and Resentment 220 

28 : How to Keep from Worrying About Insomnia 228 


Part Eight 

29 : The Major Decision of Your Life 235 

Part Nine 

30: “Seventy Per Cent of All Our Worries . . 243 

Part Ten 


“Six Major Troubles Hit Me All at Once ” by C. I, 

Blackwood 256 

“I Can Turn Myself into a Shouting Optimist Within an 

Hour ” by Roger W. Babson 259 

“How 1 Got Rid of an Inferiority Complex” by Elmer 

Thomas 260 

“I Lived in the Garden of Allah ” by R. V. C. Bodley 264 

“Five Methods I Use to Banish Worry ” by Professor 

William Lyon Phelps 267 

“I Stood Yesterday . 1 Can Stand Today ” by Dorothy 

Dix 270 

“I Did Not Expect to Live to See the Dawn ” by J. C. 

Penney 271 

“I Go to the Gym to Punch the Bag or Take a Hike Out- 
doors” by Colonel Eddie Eagan 273 

“I Was * The Worrying Wreck from Virginia Tech'” BY 

Jim Birdsall 274 

“I Have Lived by This Sentence” by Dr. Joseph R. Sizoo 276 
“I Hit Bottom and Survived” by Ted Ericksen 277 

“I Used to Be One of the World's Biggest Jackasses” BY 

Percy H. Whiting 278 

“I Have Always Tried to Keep My Line of Supplies Open” 

by Gene Autry 280 

“I Heard a Voice in India” by E. Stanley Jones 283 

“ When the Sheriff Came in My Front Door” by Homer 




“The Toughest Opponent I Ever Fought Was Worry 99 BY 

Jack Dempsey 287 

“I Prayed to God to Keep Me Out of an Orphan's Home 99 

by Kathleen Halier 289 

“I Was Acting Like an Hysterical Woman 99 by Cameron 

Shipp 290 

“I Learned to Stop Worrying by Watching My Wife Wash 

Dishes ” by Rev. William Wood 293 

“I Found the Answer — Keep Busy !" by Del Hughes 295 

“Time Solves a Lot of Things ” by Louis T. Montant, Jr. 297 
‘7 Was Warned Not to Try to Speak or to Move Even a 

Finger ” by Joseph L. Ryan 299 

*7 Am a Great Dismissed by Ordway Tead 300 

“If I Had Not Stopped Worrying , > / Would Have Been in 

My Grave Long Ago 99 by Connie Mack 301 

“Owe at a Time , Gentlemen , One at a Time 99 by John 

Homer Miller 303 

‘7 JVow Look for the Green Light 99 by Joseph M. Cotter 304 
Lfow John D. Rockefeller Lived on Borrowed Time for 

Forty-five Years 306 

“Reading a Book on Sex Prevented My Marriage from 

Going on the Rocks ” by B. R. W. 312 

*7 JL&s Committing Slow Suicide Because I Didn't Know 

How to Relax 99 by Paul Sampson 314 

“A Real Miracle Happened to Me 99 by Mrs. John 

Burger 315 

“ Setbacks ” by Ferenc Molnar 317 

“1 Was So Worried 1 Didn't Eat a Bite of Solid Food for 

Eighteen Days’ 9 by Kathryne Holcombe Farmer 3 1 8 


How This Book Was Written — and Why 

Thirty-five years ago, I was^one of the unhappiest lads in 
New York. I was selling motor-trucks for a living. I didn't 
know what made a motor-truck run. That wasn't all: I didn't 
want to know, I despised my job. I despised living in a cheap 
furnished room on West Fifty-sixth Street — a room infested with 
cockroaches. I still remember that I had a bunch of neckties 
hanging on the walls; and when I reached out of a morning 
to get a fresh necktie, the cockroaches scattered in all directions. 
I despised having to eat in cheap, dirty restaurants that were 
also probably infested with cockroaches. 

I came home to my lonely room each night with a sick head- 
ache — a headache bred and fed by disappoinment, worry, bitter- 
ness, and rebellion. I was rebelling because the dreams I had 
nourished back in my college days had turned into nightmares. 
Was this life? Was this the vital adventure to which I had 
looked forward so eagerly? Was this all life would ever mean 
to me — working at a job I despised, living with cockroaches, 
eating vile food — and with no hope for the future? . . ? I 
longed for leisure to read, and to write the books I had dreamed 
of writing back in my college days. 

I knew I had everything to gain and nothing to lose by giving 
up the job I despised. I wasn't interested in making a lot of 
money, but I was interested in making a lot of living. In short, 
I had come to the ^Rubicon — to that moment of decision which 
faces most young people when they start out in life. So I made 
my decision — and that decision completely altered my future. 
It has made the last thirty-five years happy and rewarding 
beyond my most utopian aspirations. 

My decision was this: I would give up the work I loathed; 
and, since I had spent four years studying in the State Teachers' 
College at Warrensburg, Missouri, preparing to teach, I would 



make my living teaching adult classes in night schools. Then I 
would have my days free to read books, prepare lectures, write 
novels and short stories. I wanted “to live to write and write 
to live". 

What subject should 1 teach to adults at night? As I looked 
back and evaluated my own college training, I saw that the 
training and experience I had had in public speaking had 
been of more practical value to me in business — and in life 
— than everything else I had studied in college all put to- 
gether. Why? Because it had wiped out my timidity and 
lack of confidence and given me the courage and assurance 
to deal with people. It had also made clear that leadership 
usually gravitates to the man who can get up and say what 
he thinks. 

I applied for a position teaching public speaking in the night 
extension courses both at Columbia University and New York 
University, but these universities decided they could straggle 
along somehow without my help. 

I was disappointed then—but I now thank God that they did 
turn me down, because I started teaching in Y.M.C.A. night 
schools, where I had to show concrete results and show them 
quickly. What a challenge that was ! These adults didn't come 
to my classes because they wanted college credits or social 
prestige. They came for one reason only : they wanted to solve 
their problems. They wanted to be able to stand up on their 
own feet and say a few words at a business meeting without 
fainting from fright. Salesmen wanted to be able to call on a 
tough customer without having to walk around the block three 
times to get up courage. They wanted to develop poise and self- 
confidence. They wanted to get ahead in business. They wanted 
to have more money for their families. Apd since they were 
paying their tuition on an instalment basis — and they stopped 
paying if they didn't get results — and since I was being paid, 
not a salary, but a percentage of the profits, I had to be practical 
if I wanted to eat. 

I felt at the time that I was teaching under a handicap, but I 
realise now that I was getting priceless training. I had to 
motivate my students. I had to help them solve their problems . 


I had to make each session so inspiring that they wanted to 
continue commg. 

It was exciting work. I loved it. I was astounded at how 
quickly these business men developed self-confidence and how 
quickly many of them secured promotions and increased pay. 
The classes were succeeding far beyond my most optimistic 
hopes. Within three seasons, the Y.M.C.A.s, which had refused 
to pay me five dollars a night in salary, were paying me thirty 
dollars a night on a percentage basis. At first, I taught only 
public speaking, but, as the years went by, I saw that these 
adults also needed the ability to win friends and influence 
people. Since I couldn't find an adequate textbook on human 
relations, I wrote one myself. It was written — no, it wasn't 
written in the usual way. It grew and evolved out of the experi- 
ences of the adults in these classes. I called it How to Win 
Friends and Influence People . 

Since it was written solely as a texbook for my own adult 
classes, and since I had written four other books that no one 
had ever heard of, I never dreamed that it would have a large 
sale: I am probably one of the most astonished authors now 

As the years went by, I realised that another one of the 
biggest problems of these adults was worry. A large majority 
of my students were business men — executives, salesmen, 
engineers, accountants: a cross section of all the trades and 
professions — and most of them had problems! There were 
women in the classes — business women and housewives. They, 
too, had problems ! Clearly, what I needed was a textbook on 
how to conquer worry— -so again I tried to find one. I went to 
New York's great public library at Fifth Avenue and Forty- 
second Street and # discovered to my astonishment that this 
library had only twenty-two books listed under the title worry. 
I also noticed, to my amusement, that it had one hundred and 
eighty-nine books listed under worms. Almost nine times as 
many books about worms as about worry! Astounding, isn't it? 
Since worry is one of the biggest problems facing mankind, you 
would think, wouldn't you, that every high school and college 
in the land would give a course on "How to Stop Worrying''? 



Vet, if there is even one course on that subject in any college in 
the land, I have never heard of it. No wonder David Seabury 
said in his book How to Worry Successfully . "We come to 
maturity with as little preparation for the pressures of experi- 
ence as a bookworm asked to do a ballet.” 

The result? More than half of our hospital beds are occupied 
by people with nervous and emotional troubles. 

I looked over those twenty-two books on worry reposing on 
Ihe shelves of the New York Public Library. In addition, I 
purchased all the books on worry I could find; yet I couldn't 
discover even one that I could use as a text in my course for 
adults. So I resolved to write one myself. 

I began preparing myself to write this book seven years ago. 
How? By reading what the philosophers of all ages have said 
about worry. I also read hundreds of biographies, all the way 
from Confucius to Churchill. I also interviewed scores of promi- 
nent people in many walks of life, such as Jack Dempsey, 
General Omar Bradley, General Mark Clark, Henry Ford, 
Eleanor Roosevelt, and Dorothy Dix. But that was only a 

I also did something else that was far more important than 
the interviews and the reading. I worked for five years in a 
laboratory for conquering worry — a laboratory conducted in 
our own adult classes. As far as I know, it is the first and only 
laboratory of its kind in the world. This is what we did. We 
gave students a set of rules on how to stop worrying and asked 
them to apply these rules in their own lives and then talk to the 
class on the results they had obtained. Others reported on 
techniques they had used in the past. 

As a result of this experience, I presume I have listened to 
more talks on "How I Conquered Worry” Jhan has any other 
individual who ever walked this earth. In addition, I read 
hundreds of other talks on "How I Conquered Worry” — talks 
that were sent to me by mail — talks that had won prizes in our 
classes that are held in more than a hundred and seventy cities 
throughout the United States and Canada. So this book didn't 
come out of an ivory tower. Neither is it an academic preach- 
ment on how worry might be conquered. Instead, I have tried 



to write a fast-moving, concise, documented refort on hem 
worry has been conquered by thousands of adults. One thing 
is certain : this book is practical. You can set your teeth in it. 

I am happy to say that you won't find in this book stories 

about an imaginary "Mr. B " or a vague "Mary and John" 

whom no one can identify. Except in a few rare cases, this book 
names names and gives street addresses. It is authentic. It is 
documented. It is vouched for — and certified. 

"Science/' said the French philosopher Valery, "is a collec- 
tion of successful recipes." That is what this book is, a collection 
of successful and time-tested recipes to rid our lives of worry. 
However, let me warn you : you won't find anything new in it, 
but you will find much that is not generally applied. And 
when it comes to that, you and I don't need to be told any- 
thing new. We already know enough to lead perfect lives. We 
have all read the golden rule and the Sermon on the Mount. 
Our trouble is not ignorance, but inaction. The purpose of this 
book is to restate, illustrate, streamline, air-condition, and 
glorify a lot of ancient and basic truths — and kick you in the 
shins and make you do something about applying them. 

You didn't pick up this book to read about how it was 
written. Yon are looking for action. All right, let's go. Please 
read the first forty-four pages of this book — and if by that time 
you don't feel that you have acquired a new power and a new 
inspiration to stop worry and enjoy life — then toss this book 
into the dust-bin. It is no good for you. 

Dale Carnegie 



chapter i: Live in “Day-tight Compartments 3 ' 

In the spring of 1871, a young man picked up a book and read 
twenty-one words that had a profound effect on his future. 
A medical student at the Montreal General Hospital, he was 
worried about passing the final examination worried about what 
to do, where to go, how to build up a practice, how to make a 

The twenty-one words that this young medical student read 
in 1871 helped him to become the most famous physician of his 
generation. He organised the world-famous Johns Hopkins 
School of Medicine. He became Regius Professor of Medicine 
at Oxford— the highest honour that can be bestowed upon any 
medical man in the British Empire. He was knighted by the 
King of England. When he died, two huge volumes containing 
1,466 pages were required to tell the story of his life. 

His name was Sir William Osier. Here are the twenty-one 
words that he read in the spring of 1871 — twenty-one words 
from Thomas Carlyle that helped him lead a life free from 
worry : “ Out main bimness is not to see what lies dimly at a 
distance , but to do what lies clearly at hand// 

Forty-two years later, on a soft spring night when the tulips 
were blooming on the campus, this man. Sir William Osier, 
addressed the students of Yale University. He told those Yale 
students that a man like himself who had been a professor in 
four universities and had written a popular book was supposed 
to have “brains of a special quality". TT ° declared that that 
was untrue. He said that his intimate trends knew that his 
brains were “of the most mediocre character". 

What, then, was the secret of his success? He stated that it 
was owing to what he called living in “day-tight compart- 
ments". What did he mean by that? A few months before he 
spoke at Yale, Sir William Osier had crossed the Atlantic on a 



great ocean liner where the captain sta nd i n g on the bridge, could 
press a button and — presto 1 — there was a clanging of machinery 
and various parts of the ship were immediately shut off from 
one another — shut off into watertight compartments. “Now 
each one of you/ 1 Dr. Osier said to those Yale students, “is a 
much more marvellous organisation than the groat liner, and 
bound on a longer voyage. What I urge is that you so learn to 
control the machinery as to live with 'day-tight compartments' 
as the most certain way to ensure safety on the voyage. Get on 
the bridge, and see that at least the great bulkheads are in work- 
ing order. Touch a button and hear, at every level of your life, 
the iron doors shutting out the Past — the dead yesterdays. 
Touch another and shut off, with a metal curtain, the Future 
— the unborn tomorrows. Then you are safe — safe for to-day 1 
. . . Shut off the past l Let the dead past bury its dead. . . . 
Shut out the yesterdays which have lighted fools the way to 
dusty death. . . . The load of tomorrow, added to that of 
yesterday, carried today, makes the strongest falter. Shut off 
the future as tightly as the past. . . . The future is today. . . . 
There is no tomorrow. The day of man's salvation is now. 
Waste of energy, mental distress, nervous worries dog the steps 
of a man who is anxious about the future. . . . Shut close, then 
the great fore and aft bulkheads, and prepare to cultivate the 
habit of life of 'day-tight compartments’ . ’ ’ 

Did Dr. Osier mean to say that we should not make any effort 
to prepare for tomorrow? No. Not at all. But he did go on in 
that address to say that the best possible way to prepare for 
tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your 
enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the 
only possible way you can prepare for the future. 

Sir William Osier urged the students at Yale to begin the day 
with Christ’s prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread.” 

Remember that that prayer asks only for today's bread. It 
doesn’t complain about the stale bread we had to eat yesterday; 
and it doesn’t say: “Oh, God, it has been pretty dry out in the 
wheat belt lately and we may have another drought — and then 
how will I get bread to eat next autumn — or suppose I lose my 
job — oh, God, how could I get bread then?” 


No, this prayer teaches us to ask for today's bread only. 
Today's bread is the only kind of bread you can possibly eat. 

Years ago, a penniless philosopher was wandering through a 
stony country where the people had a hard time making a 
living. One day a crowd gathered about him on a hill, and he 
gave what is probably the most-quoted speech ever delivered 
anywhere at any time. This speech contains twenty-six words 
that have gone ringing down across the centuries: “Take there- 
fore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take 
thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the 
evil thereof.” 

Many man have rejected those words of Jesus: “Take no 
thought for the morrow.” They have rejected those words as 
a counsel of perfection, as a bit of Oriental mysticism. “I must 
take thought for the morrow,” they say. “I must take out 
insurance to protect my family. I must lay aside money for 
my old age. I must plan and prepare to get ahead.” 

Eight ! Of course you must. The truth is that those words of 
Jesus, translated over three hundred years ago, don't mean 
today what they meant during the reign of King James. Three 
hundred years ago the word thought frequently meant anxiety. 
Modem versions of the Bible quote Jesus more accurately as 
saying: “Have no anxiety for the tomorrow.” 

By all means take thought for the tomorrow, yes, careful 
thought and planning and preparation. But have no anxiety. 

During the war, our military leaders planned for the morrow, 
but they could not afford to have any anxiety. “I have sup- 
plied the best men with the best equipment we have,” said 
Admiral Ernest J. King, who directed the United States Navy, 
“and have given them what seems to be the wisest mission. 
That is all I can do.” 

“If a ship has been sunk,” Admiral King went on, “I can't 
bring it up. If it is going to be sunk, I can't stop it. I can use 
my time much better working on tomorrow's problem than by 
fretting about yesterday's. Besides, if I let those things get me, 
I wouldn't last long.” 

Whether in war or peace, the chief difference between good 
thinking and bad thinking is this: good thinking deals with 



causes and effects and leads to logical, constructive planning; 
bad thinking frequently leads to tension and nervous break- 

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Arthur Hays Sulz- 
berger, publisher of one of the most famous newspapers in the 
world, The New York Times. Mr. Sulzberger told me that when 
the Second World War flamed across Europe, he was so stunned, 
so worried about the future, that he found it almost impossible 
to sleep. He would frequently get out of bed in the middle of 
the night, take some canvas and tubes of paint, look in the' 
mirror, and try to paint a portrait of himself. He didn't know 
anything about painting, but he painted anyway, to get his 
mind off his worries. Mr. Sulzberger told me that he was never 
able to banish his worries and And peace until he had adopted 
as his motto five words from a church hymn: One step enough 
for me. 

Lead , kindly Light . . . 

Keep them my feet: I do not ask to see 

The distant scene; one step enough for me. 

At about the same time, a young man in uniform — some- 
where in Europe — was learning the same lesson. His name was 
Ted 'Bengermino, of 5716 Newholme Road, Baltimore Mary- 
land — and he had worried himself into a first-class case of com- 
bat fatigue. 

"In April, 1945," writes Ted Bengermino, “I had worried 
until I had developed what doctors call a 'spasmodic trans- 
verse colon' — a condition that produced intense pain. If the 
war hadn't ended when it did, I am sure I would have had a 
complete physical breakdown. 

“I was utterly exhausted. I was a Graves Registration, Non- 
commissioned Officer for the 94th Infantry # Di vision. My work 
was to help set up and maintain records of all men killed in 
action, missing in action, and hospitalised. I also had to help 
disinter the bodies of both Allied and enemy soldiers who had 
been killed and hastily buried in shallow graves during the pitch 
of battle. I had to gather up the personal effects of these men 
and see that they were sent back to parents or closest relatives 



who would prize these personal effects so much. I was con- 
stantly worried for fear we might be making embarrassing and 
serious mistakes. I was worried about whether or not I would 
come through all this. I was worried about whether I would live 
to hold my only child in my arms — a son of sixteen months, 
whom I had never seen. I was so worried and exhausted that 
I lost thirty-four pounds. I was so frantic that I was almost 
out of my mind. I looked at my hands. They were hardly 
more than skin and bones. I was terrified at the thought of 
going home a physical wreck. I broke down and sobbed like a 
child. I was so shaken that tears welled up every time I was 
alone. There was one period soon after the Battle of the Bulge 
started that I wept so often that 1 almost gave up hope of eve- 
being a normal human being again. 

"I ended up in an Army dispensary. An Army doctor gave 
me some advice which has completely changed my life. Aftei 
giving me a thorough physical examination, he informed me 
that my troubles were mental, ‘Ted’, he said, ‘I want you to 
think of your life as an hourglass. You know there are thou- 
sands of~grains of sand- in- the; top of the hourglass , and they a!: 
pass slowly and evenly through the narrow neck in the middle . 
Nothing you or 1 ccndd do would make more than one grain of 
sand pass through this narrow neck without impairing the hour- 
glass. Y ou jmd 1 and^ eyeryone else are like this hourglas s 
When we start in the mornings there are hundreds of iaski . 
which we feel that we must accomplish that day , but if we do 
not take them one at a time and let them pass through the da} 
slowly and evenly , as do the grains of sand passing through 
the narrow neck of the hourglass, then we are bound to break 
our own physical or mental structure / 

"I have practised, that philosophy ever since that memorable 
day that an Army doctor gave it to me. 'One grain of sand at 
a time. . . . One task at a time/ That advice saved me 
physically and mentally during the war; and it has also helped 
me in my present position in business. I am a Stock Control 
Clerk for the Commercial Credit Company in Baltimore. I 
found the same problems arising in business that had arisen 
during the war: a score of things had to be done at once— 



and there was little time to do them. We were low in stocks. 
We had new forms to handle, new stock arrangements, changes 
of address, opening and closing offices, and so on. Instead 
of getting taut and nervous, I remembered what the doctor had 
told me. ‘One grain of sand at a time. One task at a time/ By 
repeating those words to myself over and over, I accomplished 
my tasks in a more efficient manner and I did my work with- 
out the confused and jumbled feeling that had almost wrecked 
me on the battlefield/* * 

One of the most appalling comments on our present way of 
life is that half of all the beds in our hospitals are reserved for 
patients with nervous and mental troubles, patients who have 
collapsed under the crushing burden of accumulated yesterdays 
and fearful tomorrows. Yet a vast majority of those people 
would be walking the streets today, leading happy, useful lives, 
if they had only heeded the words of Jesus : " Have no anxiety 
ahmi the morrow” : or the words of Sir William Osier: "Live. 
i n day -tight compartme nts 

You and I are standing this very second at the meeting place 
of two eternities : the vast past that has endured for ever, and 
the future that is plunging on to the last syllable of recorded 
time. We can't possibly live in either of those eternities — no, 
not even for one split second. But, by trying to do so, we can 
wreck both our bodies and our minds. So let's be content to 
live the only time we can possibly live: from now until bed- 
time. “Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until 
nightfall/* wrote Robert Louis Stevenson. “Anyone can do his 
work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, 
patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is 
all that life really means/* 

Yes, that is all that life requires of us; but Mrs. E. K. Shields, 
815 Court Street, Saginaw, Michigan, was driven to despair — 
even to the brink of suicide— before she learned to live just 
till bedtime. “In 1937, I lost my husband/* Mrs. Shields said 
as she told me her story. “I was very depressed — and almost 
penniless. I wrote my former employer, Mr. Leon Roach, of 
the Roach-Fowler Company of Kansas City, and got my old 
job back. I had formerly made my living selling books 


to rural and town school boards. I had sold my car two years 
previously when my husband became ill; but I managed to 
scrape together enough money to put a down payment on a 
used car and started out to sell books again. 

“I jhad thought that getting back on the road would help 
relieve my depression; but driving alone and eating alone was 
almost more than I could take. Some of the territory was not 
very productive, and I found it hard to make those car pay- 
ments, small as they were. 

“In the spring of 1938, I was working out of Versailles, 
Missouri. The schools were poor, the roads bad; I was so lonely 
and discouraged that at one time I even considered suicide. It 
seemed that success was impossible. I had nothing to live for. 
I dreaded getting up each morning and facing life. I was afraid 
of everything: afraid I could not meet the car payments; afraid 
I could not pay my room rent; afraid I would not have enough 
to eat. I was afraid my health was failing and I had no money 
for a doctor. All that kept me from suicide were the thoughts 
that my sister would be deeply grieved, and that I did not 
have enough money to pay my funeral expenses. 

“Then one day I read an article that lifted me out of my 
despondence and gave me the courage to go on living. I shall 
never cease to be grateful for one inspiring sentence in that 
article. It said: ‘Ever y day is a new life to a wise man/ 
I typed that sentence out and pasted it on the ’windshield of 
my car, where I saw it every minute I was driving. I found 
it wasn’t so hard to live only one day at a time. I learned to 
forget the yesterdays and to not-think of the tomorrows. Each 
morning I said to myself, ‘Today is a new life/ 

“I have succeeded in overcoming my fear of loneliness, my 
fear of want. I am^happy and fairly successful now and have 
a lot of enthusiasm land love for life. I know now that I shall 
never again be afraid, regardless of what life hands me. I know 
now that I don't have to fear the future. I know now that I 
can live one day at a time — and that ‘Every day is a new 
life to a wise man/ “ 



Who do you suppose wrote this verse : 

Happy the man , and happy he alone. 

He, who can call to-day his own: 

He who, secure within, cm say: 

“ To-morrow , do thy worst , for I have liv'd to-day 

Those words sound modem, don't they? Yet they were 
written thirty years before Christ was bom, by the Roman 
poet Horace. 

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is 
that all of us tend to put oh living. We are all dreaming of 
some magical rose garden over the horizon — instead of enjoy- 
ing the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. 

Why are we such fools — such tragic fools? 

“How strange it is, our little procession of life!” wrote 
Stephen Leacock. “The child says, ‘When I am a big boy.' 
But what is that? The big boy says, ‘When I grow up/ And 
then, grown up, he says, ‘When I get married/ But to be 
married, what is that after all? The thought changes to ‘When 
I'm able to retire/ And then, when retirement comes, he looks 
back over the landscape traversed; a cold wind seems to sweep 
over it; somehow he has missed it all, and it is gone. Life, we 
leam too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and 

The late Edward S. Evans of Detroit almost killed himself 
with worry before he learned that life “is in the living, in the 
tissue of every day and hour.” Brought up in poverty, Edward 
Evans made his first money by selling newspapers, then worked 
as a grocer's clerk. Later, with seven people dependent upon 
him for bread and butter, he got a job as an assistant librarian. 
Small as the pay was, he was afraid to quit. Eight years passed 
before he could summon up the courage to start out on his own. 
But once he started, he built up an original investment of fifty- 
five borrowed dollars into a business of his own that made him 
twenty thousand dollars a year. Then came a frost, a killing 
frost. He endorsed a big note for a friend — and the friend went 
bankrupt. Quickly on top of that disaster came another: the 
bank in which he had all his money collapsed. He not only 


lost every cent he had, but was plunged into debt for sixteen 
thousand dollars. His nerves couldn't take it. “I couldn't sleep 
or eat," he told me. “I became strangely ill. Worry and 
nothing but worry ” he said, “brought on this illness . One 
day as I was walking down the street, I fainted and fell on the 
sidewalk. I was no longer able to walk. I was put to bed and 
my body broke out in boils. These boils turned inward until 
just lying in bed was agony. I grew weaker every day. Finally 
my doctor told me that I had only two more weeks to live. I 
was shocked. I drew up my will, and then lay back in bed 
to await my end. No use now to struggle or worry. 1 gave up, 
relaxed, and went to sleep. I hadn't slept two hours in suc- 
cession for weeks; but now with my earthly problems drawing 
to an end, I slept like a baby. My exhausting weariness began 
to disappear. My appetite returned. I gained weight. 

“A few weeks later, I was able to walk with crutches. Six 
weeks later, I was able to go back to work. I had been making 
twenty thousand dollars a year; but I was glad now to get a 
job for thirty dollars a week. I got a job selling blocks to put 
behind the wheels of automobiles when they are shipped by 
freight. I had learned my lesson now. No more worry for 
me — no more regret about what had happened in the past- 
no more dread of the future. I concentrated all my time, 
energy, and enthusiasm into selling those blocks." 

Edward S. Evans shot up fast now. In a few years, he was 
president of the company. His company — the Evans Product 
Company — has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange 
for years. When Edward S. Evans died in 1945, he was one of 
the most progressive business men in the United States. If you 
ever fly over Greenland, you may land on Evans Field — a fly- 
ing field named in^his honour. 

Here is the point of the story : Edward S. Evans would never 
have had the thrill of achieving these victories in business and 
in living if he hadn't seen the folly of worrying — if he hadn't 
learned to live in day-tight compartments. 

Five hundred years before Christ was bom, the Greek 
philosopher Heraclitus told his students that " everything, 
changes except the law of change.” He said, "You cannot 



step in the same river twice.” The river changes every second; 
and so does the man who stepped in it. Life is a ceaseless 
change. The only certainty is today. Why mar the beauty of 
living today by trying to solve the problems of a future that is 
shrouded in ceaseless change and uncertainty — a future that no 
one can possibly foretell? 

The old Romans had a word for it. In fact, they had two 
words for it. Carpe diem . “ Enjoy the day/ ' Or, “Seize the 
day.” Yes, seize the day, and make the most of it. 

That is the philosophy of Lowell Thomas. I recently spent 
a week-end at his farm; and I noticed that he had these words 
from Psalm cxviii framed and hanging on the walls of his 
broadcasting studio where he would see them often : 

T his is the day which the Lord hath made ; 

John Ruskin had on his desk a simple piece of stone on 
which was carved one word: today. And while I haven't a 
piece of stone on my desk, I do have a poem pasted on my 
mirror where I can see it when I shave every morning — a poem 
that Sir William Osier always kept on his desk — a poem written 
by the famous Indian dramatist, Kalidasa: 


Look to this day ! 

For it is life , the very Hfe of life. 

In its brief course 

Lie all the verities and realities of your existence: 

The bliss of growth 
The glory of action 
The splendour of achievement , 

For yesterday is but a dream 
And tomorrow is only a vision. 

But today well lived makes yesterday a dream 
of happiness 

And every tomorrow a vision of hope. 

Look weU, therefore , to this day * 

Such is the salutation to the dawn . 


So, the first thing you should know about worry is this: if 
want to keep it out of your life, do what Sir William Osier did — 

1. Shut the iron doors on the past and the future. Live in 
Day-tight Compartments, 

Why not ask yourself these questions, and write down the 

1. Do I tend to put off living in the present in order to 
worry about the future, or to yearn for some ' ‘magical 
rose garden over the horizon**? 

2 . Do I sometimes embitter the present by regretting things 
that happened in the past — that are over and done with? 

3. Do I get up in the morning determined to "Seize the 
day** — to get the utmost out of these twenty-four hours? 

4. Can I get more out of life by "living in day-tight com- 

5. When shall I start to do this? Next week? . s . 
Tomorrow? . . . Today? 



chapter 2: A Magic Formula for Solving 
Worry Situations 

Would you like a quick, sure-fire recipe for handling worry 
situations — a technique you can start using right away, before 
you go any further in reading this book? 

Then let me tell you about the method worked out by 
Willis H. Carrier, the brilliant engineer who launched the air- 
conditioning industry, and who is now head of the world- 
famous Carrier Corporation, in Syracuse, New York. It is one 
of the best techniques I ever heard of for solving worry 
problems, and I got it from Mr. Carrier personally when we 
were having lunch together one day at the Engineers 1 Club in 
New York. 

“When I was a young man,” Mr. Carrier said, “I worked 
lor the Buffalo Forge Company in Buffalo, New York. I was 
handed the assignment of installing a gas-cleaning device in a 
plant of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company at Crystal City, 
Missouri — a plant costing millions of dollars. The purpose of 
this installation was to remove the impurities from the gas so it 
could be burned without injuring the engines. This method of 
cleaning gas was new. It had been tried only once before — 
and under different conditions. In my work at Crystal City, 
Missouri, unforeseen difficulties arose. It worked after a fashion 
—but not well enough to meet the guarantee we had made. 

“I was stunned by my failure. It was almost as if someone 
had struck me a blow on the head. My stomach, my insides, 
began to twist and turn. For a while I was so worried I couldn't 

“Finally, common sense reminded me that worry wasn't 
getting me anywhere; so I figured out a way to handle my 
problem without worrying. It worked superbly. I have been 
using this same anti- worry technique for more than thirty years. 



It is simple. Anyone can use it. It consists of three steps: 

"Step I. I analysed the situation fearlessly and honestly and 
figured out what was the worst that could possibly happen as 
a result of this failure. No one was going to jail me or shoot me. 
That was certain. True, there was a chance that I would lose 
my position; and there was also a chance that my employers 
would have to remove the machinery and lose the twenty 
thousand dollars we had invested. 

"Step II. After figuring out what was the worst that could 
possibly happen, I reconciled myself to accepting it. if 
necessary. I said to myself : This failure will be a blow to my 
record, and it might possibly mean the loss of my job; but it 
it does, I can always get another position. Conditions could 
be much worse; and as far as my employers are concerned — 
well, they realise that we are experimenting with a new method 
of cleaning gas, and if this experience costs them twenty 
thousand dollars, they can stand it. They can charge it up to 
research, for it is an experiment. 

"After discovering the worst that could possibly happen and 
reconciling myself to accepting it, if necessary, an extremely 
important thing happened: I immediately relaxed and felt a 
sense of peace that I hadn’t experienced in days. 

"Step III. From that time on, I calmly devoted my time 
and energy to trying to improve upon the worst which I had 
already accepted mentally. 

"I now tried to figure out ways and means by which I might 
reduce the loss of twenty thousand dollars that we faced. I 
made several tests and finally figured out that if we spent 
another five thousand for additional equipment, our problem 
would be solved. We did this, and instead of the firm losing 
twenty thousand, we made fifteen thousand. 

"I probably would never have been able to do this if I had 
kept on worrying, because one of the worst, features a bout 
worrying is that it destroys our ability to co ncen trate. When 
we worry, our minds ]umpTere and there and everywhere, 
and we lose all power of decision. However, when we force 
ourselves to face the worst and accept it mentally, we then 
eliminate all those vague imaginings and put ourselves in a 


position in which we are able to concentrate on our problem, 

“This incident that I have related occurred many years ago. 
It worked so superbly that I have been using it ever since; and, 
as a result, my life has been almost completely free from 
worry. " 

Now, why is Willis H. Carrier's magic formula so valuable 
and so practical, psychologically speaking? Because it yanks 
us down out of the great grey clouds in which we fumble around 
when we are blinded by worry. It plants our feet good and 
solid on the earth. We know where we stand. And if we 
haven't solid ground under us, how in creation can we ever 
hope to think anything through? 

Professor William James, the father of applied psychology, 
has been dead for thirty-eight years. But if he were alive to- 
day, and could hear his formula for facing the worst, he would 
heartily approve it. How do I know that? Because he told 
his own students: “Be willing to have it so. . . . Be willing 
to have it so," he said, because “. . . Acceptance of what 
has happened is the first step in overcoming the consequences 
of any misfortune/ ' 

The “saxne idSr* was expressed by Lin Yutang in his widely 
read book. The Importance of Living . “True peace of mind," 
said this Chinese philosopher, “comes fromaccepEmgT5Fworst, 
Psychologically, I think, it meansTiTi^^ 

That's it, exactly! Psychologically, it means a new release 
of energy ! When we have accepted die worst, we have nothing 
more to lose. And that automatically means — we have every- 
thing to gain! “After facing the worst," Willis H. Carrier 
reported, “I immediately relaxed and felt a sense of peace that 
I hadn't experienced in days. From that time on, I was able 
to think." 

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Yet millions of people have wrecked 
their lives in angry turmoil, because they refused to accept the 
worst; refused to try to improve upon it; refused to salvage 
what they could from the wreck. Instead of trying to reconstruct 
their fortunes, they engaged in a bitter and “violent contest 
with experience" — and ended up victims of that brooding fixa- 
tion known as melancholia. 


Would you like to see how someone else adopted Willis H. 
Carrier's magic formula and applied it to his own problem? 
Well, here is one example, from a New York oil dealer who 
was a student in my classes. 

"I was being blackmailed 1 ” this student began. "X didn't 
believe it was possible — I didn't believe it could happen out- 
side of the movies — but I was actually being blackmailed! 
What happened was this : the oil company of which I was the 
head had a number of delivery trucks and a number of drivers. 
At that time, OPA regulations were strictly in force, and we 
were rationed on the amount of oil we could deliver to any one 
of our customers. I didn't know it, but it seems that certain 
of our drivers had been delivering oil short to our regular 
customers, and then reselling the surplus to customers of their 

"The first inkling I had of these illegitimate transactions was 
when a man who claimed to be a government inspector came 
to see me one day and demanded hush money. He had got 
documentary proof of what our drivers had been doing, and 
he threatened to turn this proof over to the District Attorney's 
office if I didn't cough up. 

"I knew, of course, that I had nothing to worry about — per- 
sonally, at least. But I also knew that the law says a firm is 
responsible for the actions of its employees. What's more, 1 
knew that if the case came to court, and it was aired in the 
newspapers, the bad publicity would ruin my business. And 
I was proud of my business — it had been founded by my father 
twenty-four years before. 

"I was so worried I was sick l I didn't eat or sleep for three 
days and nights. I kept going around in crazy circles. Should 
I pay the money — five thousand dollars — or should I tell this 
man to go ahead and do his damnedest? Either way I tried 
to make up my mind, it ended in nightmare. 

"Then, on Sunday night, I happened to pick up the boo^et 
on How to Stop Worrying which I had been given in my 
Carnegie class in public speaking. I started to read it, and 
came across the story of Willis H. Carrier. 'Face the worst/ 
it said. So I asked myself, ‘What is the worst that can happen 



if I refuse to pay up, and these blackmailers turn their records 
over to the District Attorney? ’ 

4 The answer to that was: 'The ruin of my business — that's 
the worst that can happen,, I can't go to jail. All that can 
happen is that I shall be ruined by the publicity/ 

“I then said to myself, “All right, the business is ruined. I 
accept that mentally. What happens next?" 

“Well, with my business rained, I would probably have to 
look for a job. That wasn't bad. I knew a lot bout oil— 
there were several firms that might be glad to employ me. . , . 
I began to feel better. The blue funk I had been in for three 
days and nights began to lift a little. My emotions calmed 
down. . . . And to my astonishment, I was able to think. 

“I was clear-headed enough now to face Step III — improve 
on the worst . As I thought of solutions, an entirely new angle 
presented itself to me. If I told my attorney the whole situa- 
tion, he might find a way out which I hadn't thought of. I 
know it sounds stupid to say that this hadn't even occurred 
to me before — but of course I hadn't been thinking, I had only 
been worrying! I immediately made up my mind that I would 
see my attorney first thing in the morning — and then I went 
to bed and slept like a log ! 

“How did it end? Well, the next morning my lawyer told 
me to go and see the District Attorney and tell him the truth. 
I did precisely that. When I finished I was astonished to hear 
the D.A. say that this blackmail racket had been going on for 
months and that the man who claimed to be a 'government 
agent' was a crook wanted by the police. What a relief to hear 
all this after I had tormented myself for three days and nights 
wondering whether I should hand over five thousand dollars 
to this professional swindler! 

“This experience taught me a lasting lesson. Now, whenever 
I face a pressing problem that threatens to worry me, I give 
it what I call 'the old Willis H. Carrier formula'." 

At just about the same time Willis H. Carrier was worrying 
over the gas-cleaning equipment he was installing in a plant 
in Crystal City, Missouri, a chap from Broken Bow, Nebraska, 
was making out his will. His name was Earl P. Haney, and 


he had duodenal ulcers. Three doctors, including a celebrated 
ulcer specialist, had pronounced Mr. Haney an "incurable 
case". They had told him not to eat this or that, and not to 
worry or fret — to keep perfectly calm. They also told him to 
make out his will! 

These ulcers had already forced Earl P. Haney to give up 
a fine and highly paid position. So now he had nothing to do, 
nothing to look forward to except a lingering death. 

Then he made a decision : a rare and superb decision. "Since 
I have only a little while to live," he said, "I may as well make 
the most of it. I have always wanted to travel around the world 
before I die. If I am ever going to do it, I'll have to do it 
now." So he bought his ticket. 

The doctors were appalled. "We must warn you," they said 
to Mr. Haney, "that if you do take this trip, you will be buried 
at sea." 

"No, I won't," he replied. "I have promised my relatives 
that I will be buried in the family plot at Broken Row, 
Nebraska. So I am going to buy a casket and take it with me." 

He purchased a casket, put it aboard ship, and then made 
arrangements with the steamship company — in the event of his 
death — to put his corps© in a freezing compartment and keep 
it there till the liner returned home. He set out on his trip, 
imbued with the spirit of old Omar; 

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend , 

Before we too into the Dust descend; 

Dust into Dust , and under Dust , to Me, 

Sms Wine, sans Song , sans Singer, and — sms End! 

However, he didn't make the trip "sans wine". "I drank 
highballs, and smoked long cigars on that trip," Mr. Haney 
says in a letter that I have before me now. "I ate all kinds 
of food — even strange native foods which were guaranteed to 
kill me. I enjoyed myself more than I had in years l We ran 
into monsoons and typhoons which should have put me in my 
casket, if only rforn fright— but I got an enormous kick of all 
this adventure. 

"I played games aboard the ship, sang songs, made new 


friends, stayed up half the night. When we reached China 
and India, I realised that the business troubles and cares that 
I had faced back home were paradise compared to the poverty 
and hunger in the Orient. I stopped all my senseless worrying 
and felt fine. When I got back to America, I had gained ninety 
pounds. I had almost forgotten I had ever had a stomach 
ulcer. I had never felt better in my life. I promptly sold the 
casket back to the undertaker, and went back to business. I 
haven't been ill a day since." 

At the time this happened, Earl P. Haney had never even 
heard of Wilis H. Carrier and his technique for handling worry. 
"But I realise now," he told me quite recently, "that I was 
unconsciously using the selfsame principle. I reconciled myself 
to the worst that could happen — in my case, dying. And then 
I improved upon it by trying to get the utmost enjoyment out 
of life for the time I had left. . . . If” he continued, "if I 
had gone on worrying after boarding that ship, I have no doubt 
that I would have made the return voyage inside of that coffin. 
But I relaxed — I forgot it. And this calmness of mind gave me 
a new birth of energy which actually saved my life." (Earl P. 
Haney is now living at ,52 Wedgemere Ave., Winchester, Mass.) 

Now, if Willis H. Carrier could save a twenty-thousand- 
dollar contract, if a New York business man could save himself 
from blackmail, if Earl P. Haney could actually save bis life, 
by using this magic formula, then isn't it possible that it may 
be the answer to some of your troubles? Isn't it possible that 
it may even solve some problems you thought were unsol vable? 

So, Rule 2 is: If you have a worry problem, apply the 
magic formula of Willis H. Carrier by doing these three things — 

1. Ask yourself, 4 ‘What is the worst that earn possibly happen?” 

2. Prepare to accept it if you have to. 

3. Then calmly proceed to improve on the worst. 



chapter 3 : What Worry May Do to Ton 

Business men who do not know how to fight worry die young . 

— Dr. Alexis Carrel. 

Some time ago, a neighbour rang my doorbell one evening and 
urged me and my family to be vaccinated against smallpox. 
He was only one of thousands of volunteers who were ringing 
doorbells all over New York City. Frightened people stood in 
lines for hours at a time to be vaccinated. Vaccination stations 
were opened not only in all hospitals, but also in fire-houses, 
police precincts, and in large industrial plants. More than two 
thousand doctors and nurses worked feverishly day and night, 
vaccinating crowds. The cause of all this excitement? Eight 
people in New York City had smallpox — and two had died. 
Two deaths out of a population of almost eight million. 

Now, I have lived in New York for over thirty-seven years, 
and no one has ever yet rung my doorbell to warn me against 
the emotional sickness of worry — an illness that, during the 
last thirty-seven years, has caused ten thousand times more 
damage than smallpox. 

No doorbell ringer has ever warned me that one person out 
of ten now living in these United States will have a nervous 
breakdown — induced in the vast majority of cases by worry 
and emotional conflicts. So I am writing this chapter to ring 
your doorbell and warn you. 

The great Nobel prizewinner in medicine, Dr. Alexis Carrel, 
said, "Business men* who do not k now how to fight worry die 
young. ' r ~AuT~so“^ doctors and brick- 


A few years ago, I spent my vacation motoring through 
Texas and New Mexico with Dr. 0. F. Gober — one of the 
medical executives of the Santa F6 railway. His exact title was 
chief physician of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Hospital 
Association. We got to talking about the effects of worry, and he 




said: * 'Seventy per cent of all patients who come to physicians 
could cure themselves if they only got rid of their fears and 
worries. Don't think for a moment that I mean that their ills 
are imaginary," he said. "Their ills are as real as a throbbing 
toothache and sometimes a hundred times more serious. I refer 
to such illnesses as nervous indigestion, some stomach ulcers, 
heart disturbances, insomnia, some headaches, and some types 
of paralysis. 

"These illnesses are real. I know what I am talking about/' 
said Dr. Gober, "for I myself suffered from a stomach ulcer 
for twelve years. 

"Fear causes worry. Worry makes you tense and nervous 
and affects the nerves of your stomach and actually changes 
the gastric juices of your stomach from normal to abnormal 
and often leads to stomach ulcers." 

Dr. Joseph F. Montague, author of the book Nervous 
Stomach Trouble , says much the same thing. He says: " You 
do not Ret stomach ulc^ mJ tom^what voii eat. You get u lcers 
from what is eating you." 

Dr. W. ~CT~ Alvarez, of the Mayo Clinic, said: "Ulcers 
frequently flare up or subside according to the bilk and valleys 
of emotional stress." 

That statement was backed up by a study of 15,000 patients 
treated for stomach disorders at the Mayo Clinic. Four out ot 
five had no physical basis whatever for their stomach illnesses. 
Fear, worry, hate, supreme selfishness, and the inability to 
adjust themselves to the world of reality— these were largely 
the causes of their stomach illnesses and stomach ulcers. . , . 
Stomach ulcers can kill you. According to life magazine, they 
now stand tenth in our list of fatal diseases. 

I recently had some correspondence with Dr. Harold C. 
Habein of the Mayo Clinic. He read a paper at the annual 
meeting of the American Association of Industrial Physicians 
and Surgeons, saying that he had made a study of 176 business 
executives whose average age was 44.3 years. He reported that 
slightly more than a third of these executives suffered from one 
of three ailments peculiar to high-tension living — heart diseme, 
digestive-tract ulcers, and high blood pressure . Think erf it— 


a third of our business executives are wrecking their bodies 
with heart disease, ulcers, and high blood-pressure before they 
even reach forty-five. What price success! And they aren't 
even buying success! Can any man possibly be a success who 
is paying for business advancement with stomach ulcers and 
heart trouble? What shall it p rofit a man if he gains the whole 
world— a nd los e iTtir"heaI^ EvSHEHie^ 
world, he could sleep in only one bed at a time and eat only 
three meals a day. Even a ditch-digger can do that — and prob- 
ably sleep more soundly and enjoy his food more than a high- 
powered executive. Frankly, I would rather be a share-cropper 
down in Alabama with a banjo on my knee than wreck my 
health at forty-five by trying to run a railroad or a cigarette 

And speaking of cigarettes — the best-known cigarette 
manufacturer in the world recently dropped dead from heart 
failure while trying to take a little recreation in the Canadian 
woods. He amassed millions — and fell dead at sixty-one. He 
probably traded years of his life for what is called * ‘business 

In my estimation, this cigarette executive with all his millions 
was not half as successful as my father — a Missouri farmer — 
who died at eighty-nine without a dollar. 

The famous Mayo brothers declared that more than half of 
our hospital beds are occupied by people with nervous troubles. 
Yet, when the nerves of these people are studied under a high- 
powered microscope in a post-mortem examination, their 
nerves in most cases are apparently as healthy as the nerves 
of Jack Dempsey. Their "nervous troubles" are caused not by 
a physical deterioration of the nerves, but by emotions of 
futility, frustration, anxiety, worry, fear, defeat, despair. Plato 
said that "the greatest mistake physicians make is that they 
attempt to cure the body without attempting to cure the mind; 
yet the mind and body are one and should not be treated 

It took medical science twenty-three hundred years to recog- 
nise this great truth. We are just now beginning to develop a 
new kind of medicine called psychosomatic medicine— a 



medicine that treats both the mind and the body. It is high 
time we were doing that, for medical science has largely wiped 
out the terrible diseases caused by physical germs — -diseases 
such as smallpox, cholera, yellow fever, and scores of other 
scourges that swept untold millions into untimely graves. But 
medical science has been unable to cope with the mental and 
physical wrecks caused, not by germs, but by emotions of 
worry, fear, hate, frustration, and despair. Casualties caused 
by these emotional diseases are mounting and spreading with 
catastrophic rapidity. 

Doctors figure that one American in every twenty now alive 
will spend a part of his life in an institution for the mentally ill. 
One out of every six of our young men called up by the draft 
in the Second World War was rejected as mentally diseased 
or defective. 

What causes insanity? No one knows all the answers. But 
it is highly probable that in many cases fear and worry are 
contributing factors. The anxious and harassed individual who 
is unable to cope with the harsh world of reality breaks off all 
contact with his environment and retreats into a private dream 
world of his own making, and this solves his worry problems. 

As I write I have on my desk a book by Dr. Edward 
Podolsky entitled Stop Worrying and Get WeU. Here are some 
of the chapter titles in that book : 

What Worry Does to the Heart 
High Blood Pressure Is Fed by Worry 
Rheumatism Can Be Caused by Worry 
Worry Less for Your Stomach's Sake 
How Worry Can Cause a Cold 
Worry and the Thyroid 
The Worrying Diabetic 

Another illuminating book about worry is Man Against Him- 
self, by Dr. Kaxl Menninger, one of the “Mayo brothers of 
psychiatry/' Dr. Menninger's book is a startling revelation 
of what you do to yourself when you permit destructive 
emotions to dominate your life. If you want to stop working 
against yourself , get this book. Read it. Give it to your 


friends, It costs four dollars — and is one of the best invest- 
ments you can make in this life. 

Worry can make even the most stolid person ill. General 
Grant discovered that during the closing days of the Civil War. 
The story goes like this : Grant had been besieging Richmond 
for nine months. General Lee's troops, ragged and hungry, 
were beaten. Entire regiments were deserting at a time. - Others 
were holding prayer meetings in their tents — shouting, weeping, 
tad seeing visions. The end was close. Lee's men set fire to the 
cotton and tobacco warehouses in Richmond, burned the 
arsenal, and fled from the city at night while towering flames 
roared up into darkness. Grant was in hot pursuit, banging 
away at the Confederates from both sides and the rear, while 
Sheridan's cavalry was heading them off in front, tearing up 
railway lines and capturing supply trains. 

Grant, half blind with a violent sick headache, fell behind 
his army and stopped at a farmhouse. "I spent the night," he 
records in his Memoirs , "in bathing my feet in hot water and 
mustard, and putting mustard plasters on my wrists and the 
back part of my neck, hoping to be cured by morning." 

The next morning, he was cured instantaneously. And the 
thing that cured him was not a mustard plaster, but a horseman 
galloping down the road with a letter from Lee, saying he 
wanted to surrender. 

"When the officer [bearing the message] reached me," 
Grant wrote, "I was still suffering with the sick headache, but 
the instant I saw the contents of the note, I was cured." 

Obviously it was Grant's worries, tensions, and emotions that 
made him ill. He was cured instantly the moment his emotions 
took on the hue of confidence, achievement, and victory. 

Seventy years later,* Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the 
Treasury in Franklin D. Roosevelt's cabinet, discovered that 
worry could make him so ill that he was dizzy. He records in 
his diary that he was terribly worried when the President, in 
order to raise the price of wheat, bought 4,400,000 bushels in 
one day. He says in his diary : "I felt literally dizzy while the 
thing was going on. I went home and went to bed for two 
hours after lunch." 



If I want to see what worry does to people, I don't have to 
go to a library or a physician. I can look out of the window 
of my home where I am writing this book; and I can see, 
within one block, one house where worry caused a nervous 
breakdown — and another house where a man worried himself 
into diabetes. When the stock market went down, the sugar 
in his blood and urine went up. 

When Montaigne, the illustrious French philosopher, was 
elected Mayor of his home town — Bordeaux — he said to his 
fellow citizens: “I am willing to take your affairs into my 
hands but not into my liver and lungs." 

This neighbour of mine took the affairs of the stock market 
into his blood stream — and almost killed himself. 

Worry can put you into a wheel chair with rheumatism and 
arthritis. Dr. Russell L. Cecil, of the Cornell University 
Medical School, is a world-recognised authority on arthritis; 
and he has listed four of the commonest conditions that bring 
on arthritis: 

1. Marital shipwreck. 

2. Financial disaster and grief, 

3. Loneliness and worry. 

4. Long-cherished resentments. 

Naturally, these four emotional situations are far from being 
the only causes of arthritis. There are many different kinds of 
arthritis — due to various causes. But, to repeat, the commonest 
conditions that bring on arthritis are the four listed by Dr, 
Russell L. Cecil. For example, a friend of mine was so hard hit 
during the depression that the gas company shut off the gas and 
the bank foreclosed the mortgage on the house. His wife sud- 
denly had a painful attack of arthritis— and, in spite of 
medicine and diets, the arthritis continued until their financial 
situation improved. * 

Worry can even cause tooth decay. Dr. William I. L. 
McGonigle said in an address before the American Dental 
Association that "unpleasant emotions such as those caused 
by worry, fear, nagging . . . may upset the body's calcium 
balance and cause tooth decay." Dr. McGonigle told of a 



patient of Ms who had always had a perfect set of teeth until he 
began to worry over his wife's sudden illness. During the three 
weeks she was in the hospital, he developed nine cavities — 
cavities brought on by worry. 

Have you ever seen a person with an acutely over-active 
thyroid? I have, and I can tell you they tremble; they shake; 
they look like someone half scared to death — and that's about 
what it amounts to. The thyroid gland, the gland that regulates 
body, has been thrown out of kilter. It speeds up the heart 
^“_the whole body is roaring away at full blast like a furnace 
with all its draughts wide open. And if this isn't checked, by 
operation or treatment, the victim may die, may “bum himself 

A short time ago I went to Philadelphia with a friend of mine 
who has this disease. We went to see a famous specialist, a 
doctor who has been treating this type of ailment for thirty- 
eight years. And what sort of advice do you suppose he had 
hanging on the wall of his waiting-room — painted on a large 
wooden sign so all his patients could see it? Here it is. I 
copied it down on the back of an envelope wMle I was waiting: 

Relaxation md Recreation 

The most relaxing recreating forces axe a healthy 
religion, sleep, music, and laughter. 

Have faith in God — learn to sleep well — 

Love good music — see the funny side of life — 

And health and happiness will be yours. 

The first question he asked this friend of mine was: “What 
emotional disturbance brought on this condition? " He warned 
my friend that, if he* didn't stop worrying, he could get other 
complications: heart trouble, stomach ulcers, or diabetes. “All 
of these diseases," said that eminent doctor, “are cousins, first 
cousins." Sure, they're first - cousins — they're all worry 

When I interviewed Merle Oberon, she told me that she 
refused to worry because she knew that worry would destroy 
her chief asset on the motion-picture screen : her good looks. 


“When I first tried to break into the movies," she told me, “I 
was worried and scared. I had just come from India, and I 
didn't know anyone in London, where I was trying to get a job. 
I saw a few producers, but none of them hired me; and the 
little money I had began to give out. For two weeks I lived 
on nothing but crackers and water. I was not only worried now. 
I was hungry. I said to myself, “Maybe you're a fool. Maybe 
you will never break into the movies. After all, you have no 
experience, you've never acted at all — what have you to offer, 
but a rather pretty face? 

“I went to the mirror. And when I looked in that mirror, 
I saw what worry was doing to my looks 1 I saw the lines it was 
forming. I say the anxious expression. So I said to myself, 
‘You've got to stop this at once! You can't afford to worry. 
The only thing you have to offer at all is your looks, and 
worry will ruin them!' " 

Few things can age and sour a woman and destroy her looks 
as quickly as worry. Worry curdles the expression. It makes 
us clench our jaws and fines our faces with wrinkles. It forms 
a permanent scowl. It may turn the hair grey, and in some 
cases, even make it fall out. It can ruin the complexion — 
it can bring on all kinds of skin rashes, eruptions, and 

Heart disease, is the number-one killer in America today. 
During the Second World War, almost a third of a million men 
were killed in combat; but during that same period, heart dis- 
ease killed two million civilians — and one million of those casual- 
ties were caused by the kind of heart disease that is brought 
on by woriy and high-tension living. Yes, heart disease is one 
of the chief reasons why Dr. Alexis Carrel said : “Business men 
who do not know how to fight worry die -young." 

The negroes down south and the Chinese rarely have the 
kind of heart disease brought on by worry, because they take 
things calmly. Twenty times as many doctors as farm workers 
die from heart failure. The doctors lead tense lives — and pay 
the penalty. 

“The Lord may forgive us our sins," said William James, 
“but the nervous system never does." 



Here is a startling and almost incredible fact : more Americans 
commit suicide each year than die from the five most common 
communicable diseases. 

Why? The answer is largely: “Worry.” 

When the cruel Chinese war lords wanted to torture their 
prisoners, they would tie their prisoners hand and foot and put 
them under a bag of water that constantly dripped . . . dripped 
. . . dripped . . . day and night. These drops of water con- 
stantly falling on the head finally became like the sound of 
hammer blows — and drove men insane. This same method of 
torture was used during the Spanish Inquisition and in German 
concentration camps under Hitler. 

Worry is like the constant drip, drip, drip of water; and the 
constant drip, drip, drip of worry often drives men to insanity 
and suicide. 

When I was a country lad in Missouri, I was half scared to 
death by listening to Billy Sunday describe the hell-fires of the 
next world. But he never ever mentioned the hell-fires of 
physical agony that worriers may have here and now. For 
example, if you are a chronic worrier, you may be stricken 
someday with one of the most excruciating pains ever endured 
by man : angina pectoris. 

Boy, if that ever hits you, you will scream with agony. Your 
screams will make the sounds in Dante's Inferno sound like 
Babes in Toy land. You will say to yourself then, “Oh, God, 
oh, God, if I can ever get over this, I will never worry about 
anything — ever.” (If you think I am exaggerating, ask your 
family physician.) 

Do you love life? Do you want to live long and enjoy good 
health? Here is how you can do it. I am quoting Dr. Alexis 
Carrel again: He said, “ Those mho keep the peace of their 
inner selves in the midst of the tumuU of the modem city are 
immune from nervous diseases /* 

Can you keep the peace of your inner self in the midst of the 
tumult of a modem city? If you are a normal person, the 
answer is “yes”. “Emphatically yes.” Most of us are stronger 
than we realise. We have inner resources that we have probably 
never tapped. As Thoreau said in his immortal book, Walden: 


"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable 
ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. . . . 
li one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and 
endeavours to live the life he has imagined, he will -meet with 
a success unexpected in common hours." 

Surely, many of the readers of this book have as much will 
power and as many inner resources as Olga K. Jarvey has. Her 
address is Box 892, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. She discovered that 
under the most tragic circumstances she could banish worry. 
I firmly believe that you and I can also — if we apply the old, 
old truths discussed in this volume. Here is Olga K. Jarvey' s 
story as she wrote it for me: "Eight and a half years ago, I 
was condemned to die — a slow, agonising death — of cancer. 
The best medical brains of the country, the Mayo brothers, 
confirmed the sentence. I was at a dead-end street, the ultimate 
gaped at me! I was young. I did not want to die l In my 
desperation, I phoned to my doctor at Kellogg and cried out 
to him the despair in my heart. Rather impatiently he up- 
braided me, ‘What's the matter, Olga, haven't you any fight 
in you? Sure, you will die if you keep on crying. Yes, the 
worst has overtaken you. O.K. — face the facts! Quit worry- 
ing ! And then do something about it 1 ' Right then and there 
I took an oath, an oath so solemn that the nails sank deep into 
my flesh and cold chills ran down my spine: 'I am not going 
to worry ! I am not going to cry! And if there is cmy thing to 
mind over matter, I am going to urn-1 I am going to LIVE ■!* 

"The usual amount of X-ray in such advanced cases, where 
they cannot apply radium, is ioj minutes a day for 30 days. 
They gave me X-ray for 14! minutes a day for 49 days; and 
although my bones stuck out of my emaciated body like rocks 
on a barren hillside, and although my feet* were like lead, I did 
mi worry ! Not once did I cry! I smiled! Yes, I actually 
farced myself to smile. 

"I am not so foolish as to imagine that merely smiling can 
cure cancer. But I do believe that a cheerful mental attitude 
helps the body fight disease. At any rate, I experienced one 
of the miracle cures of cancer. I have never been healthier than 
in the last few years, thanks to those challenging, fighting words 


of Dr. McCafiery : 'Face the facts: Quit worrying; then do 
something about it I' " 

I am going to close this chapter by repeating its title: the 
words of Dr. Alexis Carrel: “Business men who do not know 
how to fight worry die young/' 

The fanatical followers of the prophet Moh amm ed often had 
verses from the Koran tattooed on their breasts. I would like 
to have the title of this chapter tattooed on the breast of every 
reader of this book : “Business men who do not know how to 
fight worry die young." 

Was Dr. Carrel speaking of you? 

Could be. 




Rule i: If you want to avoid worry, do what Sir 
William Osier did: Live in “day-tight com- 
partments". Don't stew about the future. 
Just live each day until bedtime. 

Rule 2 : The next time Trouble — with a capital T — 
comes gunning for you and backs you up 
in a comer, try the magic formula of Willis 
H. Carrier: 

a. Ask yourself, “What is the worst 
that can possibly happen if I can't solve 
my problem?" 

b . Prepare yourself mentally to accept 
the worst — if necessary. 

c. Then calmly try to improve upon the 
worst — which you have already mentally 
agreed to accept. 

Rule 3: Remind yourself of the exorbitant price 
you can pay for worry in terms of your 
health. “Business men who do not know 
how to fight worry die young." 



chapter 4: How to Analyse and Solve Worry 


1 keep six honest serving-men 
( They taught me all 1 knew); 

Their names are What and Why and When 
And How and Where and Who. 

— Rudyard Kipling 

Will the magic formula of Willis H. Carrier, described in Part 
One, Chapter 2, solve all worry problems? No, of course not. 

Then what is the answer? The answer is that we must equip 
ourselves to deal with different kinds of worries by learning 
the three basic steps of problem analysis. The three steps are ; 

1. Get the facts. 

2. Analyse the facts . 

3. Arrive at a decision — and then act on that decision . 
Obvious stuff? Yes, Aristotle taught it — and used it. And 

you and I must use it too if we are going to solve the problems 
that are harassing us and turning our days and nights into 
veritable hells. 

Let's take the first rule : Get the facts. Why is it so important 
to get the facts? Because unless we have the facts we can't 
possibly even attempt to solve our problem intelligently. With- 
out the facts, all we can do is stew around in confusion. My 
idea? No, that was the idea of the late Herbert E. Hawkes, 
Dean of Columbia College, Columbia University, for twenty- 
two years. He had helped two hundred thousand students solve 
their worry problems; and he told me that “ confusion is the 
chief cause of worry”. He put it this way — he said: “Half the 
worry in the world is caused by people trying to make decisions 
before they have sufficient knowledge on which to base a 
decision. For example,'' he said, “if I have a problem which 
has to be faced at three o'clock next Tuesday, I refuse even to 
try to make a decision about it until next Tuesday arrives. In 



the meantime, I concentrate on getting all the facts that bear 
on the problem. I don’t worry,” he said, “I don’t agonise over 
my problem. I don’t lose any sleep,. I simply concentrate on 
getting the facts. And by the time Tuesday rolls around, if 
Fve got all the facts, the problem usually solves itself!” 

I asked Dean Hawkes if this meant he had licked worry 
entirely. “Yes,” he said, “I think I can honestly say that my 
life is now almost totally devoid of worry. I have found,” he 
went on, “that if a man will devote his time to securing facts 
in an impartial, objective way, his worries usually evaporate 
in the light of knowledge.” 

Let me repeat that : “If a mm will devote Ms time, to securing 
facts in an impartial, objective way , his worries will usually 
evaporate in the Ught of knowledge 

But what do most of us do? If we bother with facts at all — 
and Thomas Edison said in all seriousness, “There is no ex- 
pedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the labour of 
thinking’’^— if we bother with facts at ah, we hunt like bird 
dogs after the facts that bolster up what w© dready think — and 
ignore all the others! We want only the facts that justify our 
acts — the facts that fit in conveniently with our wishful think- 
ing and justify our preconceived prejudices! 

As Andr6 Maurois put it: “Everything that is in agreement 
with our personal desires seems true. Everything that is not puts 
us into a rage.” 

Is it any wonder, then, that we find it so hard to get at the 
answers to our problems? Wouldn’t we have the same trouble 
trying to solve a second-grade arithmetic problem, if we went 
ahead on the assumption that two plus two equals five? Yet 
there are a lot of people in this world who make life a hell for 
themselves and others by insisting that two plus two equals five 
— or maybe five hundred ! 

What can we do about it? We have to keep our emotions out 
of our t h inking; and, as Dean Hawkes put it, we must secure 
the facts in “an impartial, objective” maimer. 

That is not an easy task when we are worried. When we are 
worried, our emotions are riding high. But here are two ideas 
that I have found helpful when trying to step aside from my 


problems, in order to see the facts in a clear, objective maimer. 

1. When trying to get the facts, I pretend that I am collect- 
ing this information not for myself, but for some other person. 
This helps me to take a cold, impartial view of the evidence. 
This helps me eliminate my emotions. 

2. While trying to collect the facts about the problem that is 
worrying me, I sometimes pretend that I am a lawyer prepar- 
ing to argue the other side of the issue. In other words, I try 
to get all the facts against myself — all the facts that are damag- 
ing to my wishes, all the facts I don't like to face. 

Then I write down both my side of the case and the other side 
of the case — and I generally find that the truth lies somewhere 
in between these two extremities. 

Here is the point I am trying to make. Neither you nor I nor 
Einstein nor the Supreme Court of the United States is brilliant 
enough to reach an intelligent decision on any problem without 
first getting the fads. Thomas Edison knew that. At the time 
of his death, he had two thousand five hundred notebooks filled 
with facts about the problems he was facing. 

So Rule 1 for solving our problems is : Get the facts . Let's do 
what Dean Hawkes did: let's not even attempt to solve our 
problems without first collecting all the facts in an impartial 

However, getting all the facts in the world won't do us any 
good until we analyse them and interpret them. 

I have found from costly experience that it is much easier to 
analyse the facts after writing them down. In fact, merely 
writing the facts on a piece of paper and stating our problem 
clearly goes a long way toward helping us to reach a sensible 
decision. As Charles Kettering puts it: "A problem well stated 
is a problem half solved." 

Let me show you all this as it works out in practice. Since the 
Chinese say one picture is worth ten thousand words, suppose I 
show you a picture of how one man put exactly what we are 
talking about into concrete action. 

Let's take the case of Galen Litchfield — a man I have known 
for several years; one of the most successful American business 
men in the Far East. Mr. Litchfield was in China in 1942, 


when the Japanese invaded Shanghai. And here is his story as 
he told it to me while a guest in my home : 

‘"Shortly after the Japs took Pearl Harbour/' Galen Litch- 
field began, “they came swarming into Shanghai. I was the 
manager of the Asia Life Insurance Company in Shanghai. 
They sent us an ‘army liquidator' — he was really an admiral — 
and gave me orders to assist this man in liquidating our assets. 
I didn't have any choice in the matter. I could co-operate — or 
else. And the ‘or else' was certain death. 

“I went through the motions of doing what I was told, 
because I had no alternative. But there was one block of 
securities, worth $750,000, which I left oh the list I gave to the 
admiral. I left that block of securities oft the list because they 
belonged to our Hong Kong organisation and had nothing to 
do with the Shanghai assets. All the same, I feared I might be 
in hot water if the Japs found out what I had done. And they 
soon found out. 

“I wasn't in the office when the discovery was made, but 
my head accountant was there. He told me that the Jap admiral 
flew into a rage, and stamped and swore, and called me a thief 
and a traitor I I had defied the Japanese army l I knew what 
that meant. I would be thrown into the Bridgehouse ! 

“The Bridgehouse! The torture chamber of the Japanese 
Gestapo ! I had had personal friends who had killed themselves 
rather than be taken to that prison. I had had other friends 
who had died in that place after ten days of questioning and 
torture. Now I was slated for the Bridgehouse myself ! 

“What did I do? I heard the news on Sunday afternoon. I 
suppose I should have been terrified. And I would have been 
terrified if I hadn't had a definite technique for solving my 
problems. For years, whenever I was worried I had always 
gone to my typewriter and written down two questions — and the 
answers to these questions : 

“I. What am I worrying about? 

“2. What can I do about it? 

“I used to try to answer those questions without writing them 
down. But I stopped that years ago. I found that writing 
down both the questions and the answers clarifies my thinking. 


So, that Sunday afternoon, I went directly to my room at the 
Shanghai Y.M.C.A., and got out my typewriter. I wrote: 

"I. What am I worrying about? 

I am afraid I will be thrown into the Bridgehouse tomorrow 

"Then I typed out the second question: 

"2. What can I do about it? 

"I spent hours thinking out and writing down the four courses 
of action I could take — and what the probable consequence of 
each action would be. 

1. I can try to explain to the Japanese admiral. But he "no 
speak English." If I try to explain to him through an inter- 
preter, I may stir him up again. That might mean death, for 
he is cruel, would rather dump me in the Bridgehouse than 
bother talking about it. 

2. I can try to escape. Impossible. They keep track of me 
all the time. I have to check in and out of my room at the 
Y.M.C.A. If I try to escape, I'll probably be captured and shot. 

3. I can stay here in my room and not go near the office 
again. If I do, the Japanese admiral will be suspicious, will 
probably send soldiers to get me and throw me into the Bridge- 
house without giving me a chance to say a word. 

4. I can go down to the office as usual on Monday morning. 
If I do, there is a chance that the Japanese admiral may be so 
busy that he will not think of what I did. Even if he does think 
of it, he may have cooled off and may not bother me. If this 
happens, I am all right. Even if he does bother me. I'll still 
have a chance to try to explain to him. So, going down to the 
office as usual on Monday morning, and acting as if nothing 
had gone wrong gives me two chances to escape the Bridge- 

"As soon as I thought it all out and decided to accept the 
fourth plan — to go down to the office as usual on Monday morn- 
ing — I felt immensely relieved. 


"When I entered the office the next morning, the Japanese 
admiral sat there with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. He 
glared at me as he always did; and said nothing. Six weeks 
later — thank God — he went back to Tokyo and my worries were 

"As I have already said, I probably saved my life by sitting 
down that Sunday afternoon and writing out all the various 
steps I could take and then writing down the probable conse- 
quence of each step and calmly coming to a decision. If I 
hadn't done that, I might have floundered and hesitated and 
done the wrong thing on the spur of the moment. If I hadn't 
thought out my problem and come to a decision, I would have 
been frantic with worry all Sunday afternoon. I wouldn't have 
slept that night. I would have gone down to the office Monday 
morning with a harassed and worried look; and that alone 
might have aroused the suspicion of the Japanese admiral and 
spurred him to act. 

"Experience has proved to me, time after time, the enormous 
value of arriving at a decision. It is the failure to arrive at a 
fixed purpose, the inability to stop going round and round in 
maddening circles, that drives men to nervous breakdowns and 
living hells. I find that fifty per cent of my worries vanishes 
once I arrive at a clear, definite decision; and another forty 
per cent usually vanishes once I start to carry out that decision, 

"So I banish about ninety per cent of my worries by taking 
these four steps: 

"i. Writing down precisely what I am worrying about. 

"2. Writing down what I can do about it. A 

"3. Deciding what to do. 

"4. Starting immediately to carry out that decision." 

Galen Litchfield is now the Far Eastern Director for Starr, 
Park and Freeman, Inc., in John Street, New York, repre- 
senting large insurance and financial interests. 

In fact, as I said before, Galen Litchfield today is one of the 
most important American business men in Asia; and he con- 
fessed to me that he owes a large part of his success to this 
method of analysing worry and meeting it head-on. 

Why is his method so superb? Because it is efficient, con- 


Crete, and goes directly to the heart of the problem. On top of 
all that, it is climaxed by the third and indispensable rule : Do 
something about it. Unless we carry out our action, all our fact- 
finding and analysis is whistling upwind — it's a sheer waste of 

William James said this: * "When once a decision is reached 
and execution is the order of the day, dismiss absolutely all 
responsibility and care about the outcome." In this case, 
William James undoubtedly used the word "care" as a synonym 
for "anxiety".) He meant — once you have made a careful 
decision based on facts, go into action . Don't stop to reconsider. 
Don't begin to hesitate worry and retrace your steps. Don't 
lose yourself in self-doubting which begets other doubts. Don'1 
keep looking back over your shoulder. 

I once asked Waite Phillips, one of Oklahoma's most promi- 
nent oil men, how he carried out decisions. He replied : "I find 
that to keep thinking about our problems beyond a certain 
point is bound to create confusion and worry. There comes a 
time when any more investigation and thinking are harmful. 
There comes a time when we must decide and act and never 
look back." 

Why don't you employ Galen Litchfield's technique to one 
of your worries right now? 

Here is question No. i — What am I worrying about? (Please 
pencil the answer to that question in the space below.) 

Question No. 2 — What can I do about it? (Please write your 
answer to that question in the space below.) 

Question No. 3 — Here is what 1 am going to do about it. 

Question No. 4 — When am I going to start doing it? 



chapter 5: How to Eliminate Fifty Per Cent 
of Tour Business Worries 

If you are a business man, you are probably saying to your- 
self right now: 'The title of this chapter is ridiculous. I have 
been running my business for nineteen years; and I certainly 
know the answers if anybody does. The idea of anybody trying 
to tell me how I can eliminate fifty per cent of my business 
worries — it's absurd! 0 

Fair enough — I would have felt exactly the same way myseli 
a few years ago if I had seen this title on a chapter. It promises 
a lot — and promises are cheap. 

Let's be very frank about it: maybe I won't be able to help 
you eliminate fifty per cent of your business worries. In the last 
analysis, no one can do that, except yourself. But what I can 
do is to show you how other people have done it — and leave 
the rest to you! 

You may recall that on page 25 of this book I quoted the 
world-famous Dr. Alexis Carrel as saying: "Business men who 
do not know how to fight worry die young." 

Since worry is that serious, wouldn't you be satisfied if I 
could help you el im inate even ten per cent of your worries? . . . 
Yes? . . . Good! Well, I am going to show you how one 
business executive eliminated not fifty per cent of his worries, 
but seventy-five per cent of all the time he formerly spent in 
conferences, trying to solve business problems. 

Furthermore, I am not going to tell you this story about a 
"Mr. Jones" or a "Mr. X" or "or a man I know in Ohio" — 
vague stories that you can't check up on. It concerns a very 
real person — Leon Shimkin, a partner and general manager of 
one of the foremost publishing houses in the United States: 
Simon and Schuster, Rockefeller Centre, New York 20, New 



Here is Leon Shimkin's experience in his own words: 

"For fifteen years I spent almost half of every business day 
holding conferences, discussing problems. Should we do this or 
that — do nothing at all? We would get tense; twist in our chairs; 
walk the floor; argue and go around in circles. When night 
came, I would be utterly exhausted. I fully expected to go on 
doing this sort of thing for the rest of my life. I had been doing 
it for fifteen years, and it never occurred to me that there was 
a better way of doing it. If anyone had told me that I could 
eliminate three-fourths of all the time I spent in those worried 
conferences, and three-fourths of my nervous strain — I would 
have thought he was a wild-eyed, slap-happy, armchair opti- 
mist. Yet I devised a plan that did just that. I have been using 
this plan for eight years. It has performed wonders for my 
efficiency, my health, and my happiness. 

"It sounds like magic — but like all magic tricks, it is ex- 
tremely simple when you see how it is done. 

"Here is the secret: First, I immediately stopped the pro- 
cedure I had been using in my conferences for fifteen years — a 
procedure that began with my troubled associates reciting all 
the details of what had gone wrong, and ending up by asking : 
'What shall we do?' Second, I made a new rule — a rule that 
everyone who wishes to present a problem to me must first pre- 
pare and submit a memorandum answering these four questions: 

"Question i: What is the problem? 

("In the old days we used to spend an hour or two in a 
worried conference without anyone's knowing specifically and 
concretely what the real problem was. We used to work our- 
selves into a lather discussing our troubles without ever troub- 
ling to write out specifically what our problem was.) 

"Question 2: What is the cause of the problem? 

("As I look back over my career, I am appalled at the wasted 
hours I have spent in worried conferences without ever trying 
to find out clearly the conditions which lay at the root of the 

"Question 3 : What are all possible solutions of the problem? 

("In the old days, one man in the conference would suggest 
one solution. Someone else would argue with him. Tempers 


would flare. We would often get clear off the subject, and at 
the end of the conference no one would have written down all 
the various things we could do to attack the problem.) 

"Question 4: What solution do you suggest? 

("I used to go into a conference with a man who had spent 
hours worrying about a situation and going around in circles 
without ever once thinking through all possible solutions and 
then writing down: 'This is the solution I recommend/) 

"My associates rarely come to me now with their problems. 
Why? Because they have discovered that in order to answer 
these four questions they have to get all the facts and think 
their problems through. And after they have done that they 
find, in three-fourths of the cases, they don't have to consult 
me at all, because the proper solution has popped out like a 
piece of bread popping out from an electric toaster. Even in 
those cases where consultation is necessary, the discussion takes 
about one-third the time formerly required, because it proceeds 
along an orderly, logical path to a reasoned conclusion. 

"Much less time is now consumed in the house of Simon and 
Schuster in worrying and talking about what is wrong; and a 
lot more action is obtained toward making those things right." 

My friend, Frank Bettger, one of the top insurance men in 
America, tells me he not only reduced his business worries, but 
nearly doubled his income, by a similar method. 

"Years ago," says Frank Bettger, "when I first started to 
sell insurance, I was filled with a boundless enthusiasm and love 
for my work. Then something happened. I became so disr 
couraged that I despised my work and thought of giving it up. 
I think I would have quit— if I hadn't got the idea, one Satur- 
day morning, of sitting down and trying to get at the root of 
my worries. 

"1. I asked myself first, ' Just what is the problem ?/ The 
problem was : that I was not getting high enough returns for the 
staggering amount of calls I was making . I seemed to do pretty 
well at selling a prospect, until the moment came for closing a 
sale. Then the customer would say, 'Well, I'll think it over, 
Mr. Bettger. Come and see me again/ It was the time I wasted 
on these follow-up calls that was causing my depression. 


ft 2 . I asked myself, ‘What are the possible solutions ?’ But 
to get the answer to that one, I had to study the facts. I got 
out my record book for the last twelve months and studied the 

“I made an astmmdmg discovery! Right there in black and 
white, I discovered that seventy per cent of my sales had been 
closed on the very first interview! Twenty-three per cent of 
my sales had been closed on the second interview ! And only 
seven per cent of my sales had been closed on those third, 
fourth, fifth, etc., interviews, which were running me ragged 
and taking up my time. In other words, I was wasting fully 
one half of my working day on a part of my business which 
was responsible for only seven per cent of my sales ! 

“ 3 . ‘What is the answer?’ The answer was obvious. I im- 
mediately cut out all visits beyond the second interview, and 
spent the extra time building up new prospects. The results 
were unbelievable. In a very short time, I had almost doubled 
the cash value of every visit I made from a call I ” 

As I said, Frank Bettger is now one of the best-known life- 
insurance salesmen in America. He is with Fidelity Mutual 
of Philadelphia, and writes a million dollars’ worth of policies 
a year. But he was on the point of giving up. He was on the 
point of admitting failure — until analysing the problem gave 
him a boost on the road to success. 

Can you apply these questions to your business problems? 
To repeat my challenge — they can reduce your worries by fifty 
per cent. Here they are again: 

1. What is the problem? 

2. What is the cause ol the problem? 

3. What are &H possible solutions to the problem? 

4. What solution do you suggest? 



Rule i : Get the facts. Remember that Dean Hawkes 
of Columbia University said that “half the 
worry in the world is caused by people try- 
ing to make decisions before they have suffi- 
cient knowledge on which to base a 

Rule 2 : After carefully weighing all the facts, come 
to a decision. 

Rule 3 : Once a decision is carefully reached, act l 
Get busy carrying out your decision — and 
dismiss all anxiety about the outcome. 

Rule 4: When you, or any of your associates are 
tempted to worry about a problem, write 
out and answer the following questions: 

a. What is the problem? 

b. What is the cause of the problem? 

c. What are all possible solutions? 

d. What is the best solution? 

Nine Suggestions on How to Get the Most 
Out of This Book 

1. If you wish to get the most out of this book, there is one 
indispensable requirement, one essential infinitely more im- 
portant than any rules or technique. Unless you have this one 
fundamental requisite a thousand rules on how to study will 
avail little. And if you do have this cardinal endowment, then 
you can achieve wonders without reading any suggestions for 
getting the most out of a book. 

What is this magic requirement? Just this: a deep, driving 
desire to learn , a vigorous determination to stop worrying and 
start living. - 

How can you develop such an urge? By constantly remind- 
ing yourself of how important these principles are to you. 
Picture to yourself how their mastery will aid you in living 
a richer, happier life. Say to yourself over and over: "My 
peace of mind, my happiness, my health, and perhaps even my 
income will, in the long run, depend largely on applying the old, 
obvious, and eternal truths taught in this book." 

2. Read each chapter rapidly at first to get a bird's-eye view 
of it. You will probably be tempted then to rush on to the next * 
one. But don't. Unless you are reading merely for entertain- 
ment. But if you are reading because you want to stop worry- 
ing and start living, then go back and re-read each chapter 
thoroughly . In the long run, this will mean saving time and 
getting results. 

3. Stop frequently in your reading to ihmk over what you 
are reacting. Ask yourself just how and when you can apply 
each suggestion. That kind of reading will aid you far more 
than racing ahead like a whippet chasing a rabbit. 

4. Read with a red crayon , pencil , or fountain pen in your 
hand; and when you come across a suggestion that you feel you 
can use, draw a line beside it . If it is a four-star suggestion, 
then underscore every sentence, or mark it with "XXXX", 
Marking and underscoring a book make it more interesting, and 
far easier to review rapidly. 




5. I know a man who has been office manager fox a large 
insurance concern for fifteen years. He reads every month all 
the insurance contracts his company issues. Yes, he reads the 
same contracts over month after month, year after year. Why? 
Because experience has taught him that that is the only way 
he can keep their provisions clearly in mind. 

I once spent almost two years writing a book on public 
speaking; and yet I find I have to keep going back over it from 
time to time in order to remember what I wrote in my own 
book. The rapidity with which we forget is astonishing. 

So, if you want to get a real, lasting benefit out of this, book, 
don't imagine that shimming through it once wiM suffice . After 
reading it thoroughly , you ought to spend a fern hours review- 
ing it every month . Keep it on your desk m front of you every 
day . Glance through it often . Keep constantly impressing 
yourself with the rich possibilities for improvement that still Me 
in the offing . Remember that the use of these principles cm be 
made habitual md unconscious only by a constant and vigorous 
campaign of review md application . There is no other way. 

6. Bernard Shaw once remarked : "If you teach a man any- 
thing, he will never learn." Shaw was right. Learning is an 
active process . We learn by doing. So, if you desire to master 
the principles you are studying in this book, do something 
about them. Apply these rules at every opportunity. If you 
don't, you will forget them quickly. Only knowledge that is 
used sticks in your mind. 

You will probably find it difficult to apply these suggestions 
all the time. I know, because I wrote this book, and yet 
frequently I find it difficult to apply everything I have 
advocated here. So, as you read this book, remember that you 
are not merely trying to acquire information. You are attempt- 
ing to form new habits. Ah yes, you are attempting a new way 
of life. That will require time and persistence and daily 

So refer to these pages often . Regard this as a working hand- 
book on conquering worry; and when you are confronted with 
some trying problem — don't get all stirred up. Don't do the 
natural thing, the impulsive thing. That is usually wrong. 



Instead, turn to these pages and review the paragraphs you 
have underscored . Then try these new ■ ways and watch them 
achieve magic for you. 

7. Offer your wife a shilling every time she catches you 
violating one of the principles advocated vn this book . She 
will break you! 

8. Please turn to pages 193-4 of this book and read how 
the Wall Street banker, H. P. Howell, and old Ben Franklin 
corrected their mistakes. Why don't you use the Howell and 
Franklin techniques to check up on your application of the 
principles discussed in this book? If you do, two things will 

First , you will find yourself engaged in m educational process 
that is both intriguing and priceless . 

Second, you will find that your ability to stop worrying and 
start Uving will grow and spread like a green bay tree „ 

9. Keep a diary — a diary in which you ought to record 
your triumphs in the application of these principles. Be specific. 
Give names, dates, results. Keeping such a record will inspire 
you to greater efforts; and how fascinating these entries will be 
when you chance upon them some evening, years from now! 


1. Develop a deep, driving desire to master the princi- 
ples of conquering worry. 

2. Read each chapter twice before going on to the next 

3. As you read, stop frequently to ask yourself how 
you can apply each suggestion. 

4. Underscore each important idea. 

5. Review this book each month. 

6. Apply these principles at every opportunity. Use 
this volume as a working handbook to help you 
solve your daily problems. 

7. Make a lively game out of your learning by offer- 
ing some friend a shilling every time he catches 
you violating one of these principles. 

8. Check up each week on the progress you axe 
making. Ask yourself what mistakes you have 
made, what improvement, what- lessons you have 
learned for the future. 

9. Keep a diary in the back of this book showing how 
and when you have applied these principles. 



chapter 6: How to Crowd Worry out of Your 


I shall never forget the night, a few years ago, when 
Marion J. Douglas was a student in one of my classes. (I have 
not used his real name. He requested me, for personal reasons, 
not to reveal his identity.) But here is his real story as he told 
it before one of our adult-education classes. He told us how 
tragedy had struck at his home, not once, but twice. The first 
time he had lost his five-year-old daughter, a child he adored. 
He and his wife thought they couldn't endure that first loss; 
but, as he said, ‘Ten months later, God gave us another little 
girl — and she died in five days/' 

This double bereavement was almost too much to bear. “I 
couldn't take it,” this father told us. “I couldn't sleep, I 
couldn't eat, I couldn't rest or relax. My nerves were utterly 
shaken and my confidence gone.” At last he went to doctors; 
one recommended sleeping pills and another recommended a 
trip. He tried both, but neither remedy helped. He said, 
“My body felt as if it were encased in a vice, and the jaws of 
the vice were being drawn tighter and tighter.” The tension 
of grief — if you have ever been paralysed by sorrow, you know 
what he meant. 

“But thank God, I had one child left — a four-year-old son. 
He gave me the solution to my problem. One afternoon as I 
sat around feeling sorry for myself, he asked : ‘Daddy, will you 
build a boat for me? ' I was in no mood to build a boat; in fact, 
I was in no mood to do anything. But my son is a persistent 
little fellow I I had to give in. 

“Building that toy boat took about three hours. By the time 
it was finished, I realised that those three hours spent build- 



ing that boat were the first hours of mental relaxation and peace 
that I had had in months! 

‘That discovery jarred me out of my lethargy and caused me 
to do a bit of thinking — the first real thinking I had done in 
months. I realised that it is difficult to worry while you are 
busy doing something that requires planning and thinking. In 
my case, building the boat had knocked worry out of the ring. 
So I resolved to keep busy. 

“The following night, I went from room to room in the 
house, compiling a list of jobs that ought to be done. Scores 
of items needed to be repaired : bookcases, stair steps, storm 
windows, window-shades, knobs, locks, leaky taps. Astonish- 
ing as it seems, in the course of two weeks I had made a list 
of 242 items that needed attention. 

“During the last two years I have completed most of them. 
Besides, I have filled my life with stimulating activities. Two 
nights per week I attend adult-education classes in New York. 
I have gone in for civic activities in my home town and I am 
now chairman of the school board. I attend scores of meetings. 
I help collect money for the Red Cross and other activities. I 
am so busy now that I have no time for worry/' 

No time for worry ! That is exactly what Winston Churchill 
said when he was working eighteen hours a day at the height 
of the war. When he was asked if he worried about his 
tremendous responsibilities, he said, “I'm too busy. I have no 
time for worry." 

Charles Kettering was in that same fix when he started out 
to invent a self-starter for automobiles. Mr. Kettering was, 
until his recent retirement, vice-president of General Motors in 
charge of the world-famous General Motors Research Corpora- 
tion. Buf in those days, he was so poor that he had to use 
the hayloft of a bam as a laboratory. To buy groceries, he 
had to use fifteen hundred dollars that his wife had made by 
giving piano lessons; later, had to borrow five hundred dollars 
on his life insurance. I asked his wife if she wasn't worried 
at a time like that. “Yes," she replied, “I was so worried I 
couldn't sleep; but Mr. Kettering wasn't. He was too absorbed 
in his work to worry." 


The great scientist, Pasteur, spoke of “the peace that is found 
in libraries and laboratories." Why is peace found there? 
Because the men in libraries and laboratories are usually too 
absorbed in their tasks to worry about themselves. Research 
men rarely have nervous breakdowns. They haven't time for 
such luxuries. 

Why does such a simple thing as keeping busy help to drive 
out anxiety? Because of a law — one of the most fundamental 
laws ever revealed by psychology. And that law is: that it is 
utterly impossible for any human mind, no matter how 
brilliant, to think of more than one thing at any given time. 
You don't quite believe it? Very well, then, let's try an 

Suppose you lean right back now, close your eyes, and try, 
at the same instant, to think of the Statue of Liberty and of 
what you plan to do tomorrow morning. (Go ahead, try it.) 

You found out, didn't you, that you could focus on either 
thought in turn , but never on both simultaneously? Well, the 
same thing is true in the field of emotions. We cannot be 
pepped up and enthusiastic about doing something exciting and 
feel dragged down by worry at the very same time. One kind 
of emotion drives out the other. And it was that simple dis- 
covery that enabled Army psychiatrists to perform such 
miracles during the war. 

When men came out of battle so shaken by the experience 
that they were called “psychoneurotic". Army doctors 
prescribed “Keep 'em busy” as a cure. 

Every waking minute of these nerve-shocked men was filled 
with activity — usually outdoor activity, such as fishing, hunt- 
ing, playing ball, golf, taking pictures, making gardens, and 
dancing. They were, given no time for brooding over their 
terrible experiences. 

“Occupational therapy" is the term now used by psychiatry 
when work is prescribed as though it were a medicine. It is 
not new. The old Greek physicians were advocating it five 
hundred years before Christ was bom ! 

The Quakers were using it in Philadelphia in Ben Franklin's 
time. A man who visited a Quaker sanatorium in 1774 was 


shocked to see that the patients who were mentally ill were busy 
spinning flax. He thought these poor unfortunates were being 
exploited — until the Quakers explained that they found that 
their patients actually improved when they did a little work. 
It was soothing to the nerves. 

Any psychiatrist will tell you that work— keeping busy — is 
one of the best anaesthetics ever known for sick nerves. 
Henry W. Longfellow found that out for himself when he lost 
his young wife. His wife had been melting some sealing-wax 
at a candle one day, when her clothes caught on Are. Long- 
fellow heard her cries and tried to reach her in time; but she 
died from the burns. For a while, Longfellow was so tortured 
by the memory of that dreadful experience that he nearly went 
insane; but, fortunately for him, his three small children needed 
his attention. In spite of his own grief, Longfellow undertook 
to be father and mother to his children. He took them for 
walks, told them stories, played games with them, and 
immortalised their companionship in his poem The Children's 
Hour . He also translated Dante; and all these duties combined 
kept him so busy that he forgot himself entirely, and regained 
his peace of mind. As Tennyson declared when he lost bis 
most intimate friend, Arthur Hallam, "I must lose myself in 
action, lest I wither in despair/' 

Most of us have little trouble "losing ourselves in action" 
while w© have our noses to the grindstone and are doing our 
day's work. But the hours after work — they are the dangerous 
ones. Just when we're free to enjoy our own leisure, and 
ought to be happiest — that's when the blue devils of worry 
attack us. That's when we begin to wonder whether we're 
getting anywhere in life; whether we're in a rut; whether the 
boss "meant anything" by that remark he made today; or 
whether we're getting bald. 

When we are not busy, our minds tend to become a near- 
vacuum. Every student of physics knows that "nature abhors 
a vacuum." The nearest thing to a vacuum that you and I 
will probably ever see is the inside of an incandescent electric- 
light bulb. Break that bulb — and nature forces air in to fill 
the theoretically empty space. 


Nature also rushes in to fill the vacant mind. With what? 
Usually with emotions. Why? Because emotions of worry, 
fear, hate, jealousy, and envy are driven by primeval vigour 
and the dynamic energy of the jungle. Such emotions are so 
violent that they tend to drive out of our minds all peaceful, 
happy thoughts and emotions. 

James L. Mursell, professor of education, Teachers' College, 
Columbia, puts it very well when he says: "Worry is most apt 
to ride you ragged not when you are in action, but when the 
day's work is done. Your imagination can run riot then and 
bring up all sorts of ridiculous possibilities and magnify each 
little blunder. At such a time," he continues, "your mind is 
like a motor operating without its load. It races and threatens 
to bum out its bearings or even to tear itself to bits. The remedy 
for worry is to get completely occupied doing something 

But you don't have to be a college professor to realise this 
truth and put it into practice. During the war, I met a house- 
wife from Chicago who told me how she discovered for herself 
that "the remedy for worry is to get completely occupied doing 
something constructive." I met this woman and her husband 
in the dining-car while I was travelling from New York to my 
farm in Missouri. (Sorry I didn't get their names — I never like 
to give examples without using names and street addresses — 
details that give authenticity to a story.) 

This couple told me that their son had joined the armed 
forces the day after Pearl Harbour. The woman told me that 
she had almost wrecked her health worrying over that only 
son. Where was he? Was he safe? Or in action? Would he 
be wounded? Killed? 

When I asked her hpw she overcame her worry, she replied : 
"I got busy." She told me that at first she had dismissed her 
maid and tried to keep busy by doing all her housework herself. 
But that didn't help much. "The trouble was," she said, "that 
I could do my housework almost mechanically, without using 
my mind. So I kept on worrying. While making the beds and 
washing the dishes I realised I needed some new kind of work 
that would keep me busy both mentally and physically every 


hour of the day. So I took a job as a saleswoman in a large 
department store. 

"That did it,” she said. f T immediately found myself in a 
whirlwind of activity : customers swarming around me, asking 
for prices, sizes, colours. Never a second to think of anything 
except my immediate duty; and when night came, I could think 
of nothing except getting off my aching feet. As soon as I ate 
dinner, I fell into bed and instantly became unconscious. I had 
neither the time nor the energy to worry.” 

She discovered for herself what John Cowper Powys meant 
when he said, in The Art of Forgetting the Unpleasant: ”A 
certain comfortable security, a certain profound inner peace, 
a kind of happy numbness, soothes the nerves of the human 
animal when absorbed in its allotted task.” 

And what a blessing that it is so ! Osa Johnson, the world's 
most famous woman explorer, recently told me how she found 
release from worry and grief. You may have read the story 
of her life. It is called I Married Adventure. If any woman 
ever married adventure, she certainly did. Martin Johnson 
married her when she was sixteen and lifted her feet off the 
sidewalks of Chanute, Kansas, and set them down on the wild 
jungle trails of Borneo. For a quarter of a century, this Kansas 
couple travelled all over the world, making motion pictures of 
the vanishing wild life of Asia and Africa. Back in America 
nine years ago, they were on a lecture tour, showing their 
famous films. They took a plane out of Denver, bound for 
the Coast, The plane plunged into a mountain. Martin Johnson 
was killed instantly. The doctors said Osa would never leave 
her bed again. But they didn't know Osa Johnson. Three 
months later, she was in a wheel chair, lecturing before large 
audiences. In fact, she addressed over, a hundred audiences 
that season — all from a wheel chair. When I asked her why 
she did it, she replied: # T did it so that I would have no time 
for sorrow and worry.” 

Osa Johnson had discovered the same truth that Tennyson 
had sung about a century earlier: ”1 must lose myself in action, 
lest I wither in despair.” 

Admiral Byrd discovered this same truth when he lived all 


alone for five months in a shack that was literally buried in 
the great glacial ice-cap that covers the South Pole — an ice-cap 
that holds nature's oldest secrets — an ice-cap covering an un- 
known continent larger than the United States and Europe 
combined. Admiral Byrd spent five months there alone. No 
other living creature of any kind existed within a hundred 
miles. The cold was so intense that he could hear his breath 
freeze and crystallise as the wind blew it past his ears. In his 
book Alone , Admiral Byrd tells all about those five months he 
spent in bewildering and soul-shattering darkness. The days 
were as black as the nights. He had to keep busy to preserve 
his sanity. 

“At night," he says, “before blowing out the lantern, I 
formed the habit of blocking out the morrow’s work. It wa» 
a case of assigning myself an hour, say, to the Escape Tunnel, 
half an hour to levelling drift, an hour to straightening up the 
fuel drums, an hour to cutting bookshelves in the walls of the 
food tunnel, and two hours to renewing a broken bridge in the 
man-hauling sledge. . . . 

"It was wonderful/' he says, “to be able to dole out time in 
this way. It brought me an extraordinary sense of command 
over myself. ..." And he adds, “Without that or an 
equivalent, the days would have been without purpose; and 
without purpose they would have ended, as such days always 
end, in disintegration/' 

Note that last again: Without purpose , the days would have 
ended, as such days always end, in disintegration /' 

If you and I are worried, let's remember that we can use 
good old-fashioned work as a medicine. That was said by no 
less an authority than the late Dr. Richard C. Cabot, formerly 
professor of clinical medicine at Harvard. In his book What 
Mm Live By, Dr. Cabot says, “As a physician, I have had 
the happiness of seeing work cure many persons who have 
suffered from trembling palsy of the soul which results from 
overmastering doubts, hesitations, vacillation and fear. . . . 
Courage given us by our work is like the self-reliance which 
Emerson has made for ever glorious." 

If you and I don't keep busy — if we sit around and brood — 



we will hatch out a whole hock of what Charles Darwin used to 
call the "wibber gibbers”. And the "wibber gibbers” are 
nothing but old-fashioned gremlins that will run us hollow and 
destroy our power of action and our power of will. 

I know a business man in New York who fought the "wibber 
gibbers” by getting so busy that he had no time to fret and 
stew. His name is Tremper Longman, and his office is at 
40 Wall Street. He was a student in one of my adult-education 
classes; and his talk on conquering worry was so interesting, so 
impressive, that I asked him to have supper with me after class; 
and we sat in a restaurant until long past midnight, discussing 
his experiences. Here is the stoiy he told me: "Eighteen years 
ago, I was so worried I had insomnia. I was tense, irritated, 
and jittery. I felt I was headed for a nervous breakdown. 

"I had reason to be worried. I was treasurer of the Crown 
Fruit and Extract Company, 418 West Broadway, New York. 
We had half a million dollars invested in strawberries packed in 
gallon tins. For twenty years, we had been selling these gallon 
tins of strawberries to manufacturers of ice cream. Suddenly 
our sales stopped because the big ice-cream makers, such as 
National Dairy and Borden's, were rapidly increasing their 
production and were saving money and time by buying straw- 
berries packed in barrels. 

"Not only were we left with half a million dollars in berries 
we couldn't sell, but we were also under contract to buy a 
million dollars more of strawberries in the next twelve months ! 
We had already borrowed $350,000 from the banks. We 
couldn't possibly pay off or renew these loans. No wonder I 
was worried 1 

"I rushed out to Watsonville, California, where our factory 
was located, and tried to persuade our president that conditions 
had changed, that we were facing ruin. He refused to believe 
it. He blamed our New York office for all the trouble — poor 

"After days of pleading, I finally persuaded him to stop 
packing more strawberries and to sell our new supply on the 
fresh berry market in San Francisco. That almost solved our 
problems. I should have been able to stop worrying then; but 


I couldn't Worry is a habit; and I had that habit. 

“When I returned to New York, I began worrying about 
everything; the cherries we were buying in Italy, the pine- 
apples we were buying in Hawaii, and so on. I was tense, 
jittery, couldn't sleep; and, as I have already said, I was head- 
ing for a nervous breakdown. 

“In despair, I adopted a way of life that cured my insomnia 
and stopped my worries. I got busy. I got so busy with 
problems demanding all my faculties that I had no time to 
worry. I had been working seven hours a day. I now began 
working fifteen and sixteen hours a day. I got down to the 
office every morning at eight o'clock and stayed there every 
night until almost midnight. I took on new duties, new re- 
sponsibilities. When I got home at midnight, I was so exhausted 
when I fell in bed that I became unconscious in a few seconds. 

“I kept up this programme for about three months. I had 
broken the habit of worry by that time, so I returned to a 
normal working day of seven or eight hours. This event 
occurred eighteen years ago. I have never been troubled with 
insomnia or worry since then." 

George Bernard Shaw was right. He summed it all up when 
he said: "The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure 
to bother about whether you are happy or n-ot/' So don't 
bother to think about it I Spit on your hands and get busy. 
Your blood will start circulating; your mind will start tick- 
ing — and pretty soon this whole positive upsurge of life in your 
body will drive worry from your mind. Get busy. Keep busy. 
It's the cheapest kind of medicine there is on this earth — and 
one of the best. 

To break the worry habit, here is Rule i : 


Keep busy. The worried person must lose himself in action, lest 
he wither in despair. 



chapter 7: Don't Let the Beetles Get You 


Here is a dramatic story that I'll probably remember as long 
as I live. It was told to me by Robert Moore, of 14 Highland 
Avenue, Maplewood, New Jersey. 

i( l learned the biggest lesson of my life in March, 1945,” he 
said, “1 learned it under 276 feet of water off the coast of Indo* 
China. I was one of eighty-eight men aboard the submarine 
Bay a S.S. 318. We had discovered by radar that a small 
Japanese convoy was coming our way. As daybreak 
approached, we submerged to attack. I saw through the 
periscope a Jap destroyer escort, a tanker, and a minelayer. 
We fixed three torpedoes at the destroyer escort, but missed. 
Something went haywire in the mechanics of each torpedo. The 
destroyer, not knowing that she had been attacked, continued 
on. We were getting ready to attack the last ship, the mine- 
layer, when suddenly she turned and came directly at us. (A 
Jap plane had spotted us under sixty feet of water and had 
radioed our position to the Jap minelayer.) We went down 
to 150 feet, to avoid detection, and rigged for a depth charge. 
We put extra bolts on the hatches; and, in order to make our 
sub absolutely silent, we turned off the fans, the cooling system, 
and all electrical gear. 

“Three minutes later, all hell broke loose. Six depth charges 
exploded all around us and pushed us down to the ocean floor — 
a depth of 276 feet. We were terrified. To be attacked in less 
than a thousand feet of water is dangerous — less than five 
hundred feet is almost always fatal. And we were being 
attacked in a trifle more than half of five hundred feet of water 
— just about knee-deep, as far as safety was concerned. For 
fifteen hours, that Jap minelayer kept dropping depth charges. 


don't let the beetles get you down 63 

If a depth charge explodes within seventeen feet of a sub, the 
concussion will blow a hole in it. Scores of these depth charges 
exploded within fifty feet of us. We were ordered 'to secure' — 
to lie quietly in our bunks and remain calm. I was so terrified 
I could hardly breathe. 'This is death, 1 I kept saying to my- 
self over and over. 'This is death ! . . . This is death 1 ' With 
the fans and cooling system turned off, the air inside the sub 
was over a hundred degrees; but I was so chilled with fear 
that I put on a sweater and a fur-lined jacket; and still 1 
trembled with cold. My teeth chattered. I broke out in a cold, 
clammy sweat. The attack continued for fifteen hours. Then 
ceased suddenly. Apparently the Jap minelayer had exhausted 
its supply of depth charges, and steamed away. Those fifteen 
hours of attack seemed like fifteen million years. All my life 
passed before me in review. I remembered all the bad filings 
I had done, all the little absurd things I had worried about. 
I had been a bank clerk before I joined the Navy. I had 
worried about the long hours, the poor pay, the poor prospects 
of advancement. I had worried because I couldn't own my own 
home, couldn't buy a new car, couldn't buy my wife nice 
clothes. How I had hated my old boss, who was always nag- 
ging and scolding 1 I remembered how I would come horn© 
at night sore and grouchy and quarrel with my wife over trifles. 
I had worried about a scar on my foreheacL— a nasty cut from 
an auto accident. 

"How big all these worries seemed years ago! But how 
absurd they seemed when depth charges were threatening to 
blow me to kingdom come. I promised myself then and there 
that if I ever saw the sun and the stars again, I would never, 
never worry again. Never! Never! ! Never! ! ! I learned more 
about the art of living in those fifteen terrible hours in that 
submarine than I had learned by studying books for four years 
in Syracuse University." 

We often face the major disasters of life bravely — and then 
let the trifles, the "pains in the neck", get us down. For 
example, Samuel Pepys tells in his Diary about seeing Sir 
Harry Vane's head chopped off in London. As Sir Harry 
mounted the platform, he was not pleading for his life, but 


was pleading with the executioner not to hit the painful boil 
on his neck I 

That was another thing that Admiral Byrd discovered down 
in the terrible cold and darkness of the polar nights — that his 
men fussed more about the “pains in the neck” than about the 
big things. They bore, without complaining, the dangers, the 
hardships, and the cold that was often eighty degrees below 
zero. “But,” says Admiral Byrd, “I know of bunkmates who 
quit speaking because each suspected the other of inching his 
gear into the other's allotted space; and I knew of one who 
could not eat unless he could find a place in the mess hall out 
of sight of the Fletcherist who solemnly chewed his food twenty- 
eight times before swallowing. 

“In, a polar camp,” says Admiral Byrd, “little things like 
that have the power to drive even disciplined men to the edge 
of insanity.” 

And you might have added, Admiral Byrd, that “little 
things” in marriage drive people to the edge of insanity and 
cause “half the heartaches in the world.” 

At least, that is what the authorities say. For example. Judge 
Joseph Sabath of Chicago, after acting as arbiter in more than 
forty thousand unhappy marriages, declared: “Trivialities are 
at the bottom of most marital unhappiness”; and Frank S. 
Hogan, District Attorney of New York County, says, “Fully 
half the cases in our criminal courts originate in little things. 
Bar-room bravado, domestic wrangling, an insulting remark, a 
disparaging word, a rude action — those are the little things that 
lead to assault and murder. Vexy few of us are cruelly and 
greatly wronged. It is the small blows to our self-esteem, the 
indignities, the little jolts to our vanity, which cause half the 
heartaches in the world.” 

When Eleanor Roosevelt was first married, she “worried for 
days” because her new cook had served a poor meal. “But 
if that happened now,” Mrs. Roosevelt says, “I would shrug 
my shoulders and forget it.” Good. That is acting like an 
adult emotionally. Even Catherine the Great, an absolute auto- 
crat, used to laugh the thing off when the cook spoiled a meal. 

Mrs. Carnegie and I had dinner at a friend's house in 

don't let the beetles get you down 65 

Chicago. While carving the meat, he did something wrong. I 
didn't notice it; and I wouldn’t have cared even if I had noticed 
it. But his wife saw it and jumped down his throat right in 
front of us. "John," she cried, "watch what you are doing! 
Can't you ever learn to serve properly!" 

Then she said to us: "He is always making mistakes. He 
just doesn't try." Maybe he didn't try to carve; but I certainly 
give him credit for trying to live with her for twenty years. 
Frankly, I would rather have eaten a couple of hot dogs with 
mustard — in an atmosphere of peace — than to have dined cn 
Peking duck and shark fins while listening to her scolding. 

Shortly after that experience, Mrs. Carnegie and I had some 
friends at our home for dinner. Just before they arrived, Mrs. 
Carnegie found that three of the napkins didn't match the 

"I rushed to the cook," she told me later, "and found that 
the other three napkins had gone to the laundry. The guests 
were at the door. There was no time to change. I felt like 
bursting into tears! All I could think was, 'Why did this 
stupid mistake have to spoil my whole evening?' Then 1 
thought — well — why let it? I went in to dinner, determined 
to have a good time. And I did. I would much rather our 
friends think I was a sloppy housekeeper," she told me, "than 
a nervous, bad-tempered one. And anyhow, as far as I could 
make out, no one noticed the napkins!" 

A well-known legal maxim says : Be minimis non cttrcd lex — 
"the law does not concern itself with trifles." And neither 
should the worrier — if he wants peace of mind. 

Much of the time, all we need to overcome the annoyance 
of trifles is to affect a shifting of emphasis — set up a new, and 
pleasurable, point of view in the mind. My friend Homer Croy, 
who wrote They Had to See Paris and a dozen other books, 
gives a wonderful example of how this can be done. He used 
to be driven half crazy, while working on a book, by the 
rattling of the radiators in his New York apartment. The steam 
would bang and sizzle — and he would sizzle with irritation as 
he sat at his desk. 

"Then," says Homer Croy, "I went with some friends on a 



camping expedition. While listening to the limbs crackling in 
the roaring fire, I thought how much they sounded like the 
crackling of the radiators. Why should I like one and hate the 
other? When I went home I said to myself, 'The crackling 
of the limbs in the fire was a pleasant sound; the sound of the 
radiators is about the same — Fll go to sleep and not worry 
about the noise/ And I did . For a few days I was conscious 
of the radiators; but soon I forgot all about them. 

"And so it is with many petty worries. We dislike them 
and get into a stew, all because we exaggerate their 
importance. . . /’ 

Disraeli said: "Life is too short to be little/’ "Those 
words," said Andre Maurois in This Week magazine, "have 
helped me through many a painful experience : often we allow 
ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and 
forget. . . . Here we are on this earth, with only a few more 
decades to live, and we lose many irreplaceable hours brooding 
over grievances that, in a year’s time, will be forgotten by us 
tod by everybody. No, let us devote our life to worth-while 
actions and feelings, to great thoughts, real affections and 
enduring undertakings. For life is too short to be little." 

Even so illustrious a figure as Rudyard Kipling forgot at 
times that "Life is too short to be little". The result? He and 
Ms brother-in-law fought the most famous court battle in the 
Mstory of Vermont — a battle so celebrated that a book has been 
written about it : Rudyard Kipling's Vermont Feud. 

The story goes like this: Kipling married a Vermont girl, 
Caroline Balestier, built a lovely home in Brattleboro, Vermont; 
settled down and expected to spend the rest of his life there. 
His brother-in-law, Beatty Balestier, became Kipling’s best 
friend. The two of them worked and played together. 

Then Kipling bought some land from Balestier, with the 
understanding that Balestier would be allowed to cut hay off 
it each season. One day, Balestier found Kipling laying out a 
flower garden on this hayfield. His blood boiled. He hit the 
ceiling. Kipling fired right back. The air over the Green 
Mountains of Vermont turned blue l 

A few days later, when Kipling was out riding his bicycle. 

don't let the beetles get you down 67 

his brother-in-law drove a wagon and a team of horses across 
the road suddenly and forced Kipling to take a spill. And 
Kipling — the man who wrote, “If you can keep your head 
when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you" — 
he lost his own head, and swore out a warrant for Ralestier's 
arrest! A sensational trial followed. Reporters from the big 
cities poured into the town. The news flashed around the 
world. Nothing was settled. This quarrel caused Kipling and 
his wife to abandon their American home for the rest of their 
lives. All that worry and bitterness over a mere trifle ! A load 
of hay. 

Pericles said, twenty-four centuries ago: “Come, gentlemen, 
we sit too long on trifles/' We do, indeed! 

Here is one of the most interesting stories that Dr. Harry 
Emerson Fosdick ever told — a story about the battles won and 
lost by a giant of the forest : 

On the slope of Long's Peak in Colorado lies the ruin of a 
gigantic tree. Naturalists tell us that it stood for some four 
hundred years. It was a seedling when Columbus landed at 
San Salvador, and half grown when the Pilgrims settled at 
Plymouth. During the course of its long life it was struck by 
lightning fourteen times, and the innumerable avalanches and 
storms of four centuries thundered past it. It survived them all. 
In the end, however, an army of beetles attacked the tree and 
levelled it to the ground. The insects ate their way through the 
bark and gradually destroyed the inner strength of the tree by 
their tiny but incessant attacks. A forest giant which age had 
not withered, nor lightning blasted, nor storms subdued, fell at 
last before beetles so small that a man could crush them between 
his forefinger and hi% thumb. 

Aren't we all like that battling giant of the forest? Don't 
we manage somehow to survive the rare storms and avalanches 
and lightning blasts of fife, only to let our hearts be eaten out 
by little beetles of worry— little beetles that could be crushed 
between a finger and a thumb? 

A few years ago, I travelled through the Teton National Park, 



in Wyoming, with Charles Seifred, highway superintendent for 
the state of Wyoming, and some of his friends. We were all 
going to visit the John D. Rockefeller estate in the park. But 
the car in which I was riding took the wrong turn, got lost, 
and drove up to the entrance of the estate an hour after the 
other cars had gone in. Mr. Seifred had the key that unlocked 
the private gate, so he waited in the hot, mosquito-infested 
woods for an hour until we arrived. The mosquitoes were 
enough to drive a saint insane. But they couldn't triumph over 
Charles Seifred. While waiting for us, he cut a limb off an 
aspen tree — and made a whistle of it. When we arrived, was 
he cussing the mosquitoes? No, he was playing his whistle. 
I have kept that whistle as a memento of a man who knew how 
to put trifles in their place. 

To break the worry habit before it breaks you, here is Rule 2 : 

Let’s not allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should 
despise and forget. Remember 4 ‘Life is too short to be little. 55 



chapter 8: A Law That Will Outlaw Many 
of Tour Worries 

As a child, I grew up on a Missouri farm; and one day, while 
helping my mother pit cherries, I began to cry. My mother 
said, “Dale, what in the world are you crying about?" I 
blubbered, “I'm afraid I am going to be buried alive!" 

I was full of worries in those days. When thunderstorms 
came, I worried for fear I would be killed by lightning. When 
hard times came, I worried for fear we wouldn't have enough 
to eat. I worried for fear I would go to hell when I died. I was 
terrified for fear an older boy, Sam White, would cut off my 
big ears — as he threatened to do. I worried for fear girls would 
laugh at me if I tipped nfiy hat to them. I worried for fear 
no girl would ever be willing to marry me. I worried about 
what I would say to my wife immediately after we were 
married. I imagined that we would be married in some country 
church, and then get in a surrey with fringe on the top and 
ride back to the farm . . . but how would I be able to keep 
the conversation going on that ride back to the farm? How? 
How? I pondered over that earth-shaking problem for many 
an hour as I walked behind the plough. 

As the years went by, I gradually discovered that ninety-nine 
per cent of the things I worried about never happened. 

For example, as I have already said, I was once terrified of 
lightning; but I now ^now that the chances of my being killed 
by lightning in any one year are, according to the National 
Safety Council, only one in three hundred and fifty thousand. 

My fear of being buried alive was even more absurd : I don't 
imagine that one person in ten million is buried alive; yet 1 
once cried for fear of it. 

One person out of every eight dies of cancer. If I had wanted 
something to worry about, I should have worried about cancer 



r— instead of being killed by lightning or being buried alive. 

To be sure, I have been talking about the worries of youth 
and adolescence. But many of our adult worries are almost as 
absurd. You and I could probably eliminate nine-tenths of our 
worries right now if we would cease our fretting long enough to 
discover whether, by the law of averages, there was any real 
justification for our worries. 

The most famous insurance company on earth — Lloyd's of 
London — has made countless millions out of the tendency of 
everybody to worry about things that rarely happen. Lloyd's 
of London bets people that the disasters they are worrying about 
will never occur. However, they don't call it betting. They 
call it insurance. But it is realty betting based on the law of 
averages . This great insurance firm has been going strong for 
two hundred years; and unless human nature changes, it will 
still be going strong fifty centuries from now by insuring shoes 
and ships and sealing-wax against disasters that, by the km of 
average, don't happen nearly so often as people "imagine. 

If we examine the law of averages, we will often be astounded 
at the facts we uncover. For example, if I knew that during 
the next five years I would have to fight in a battle as bloody 
as the Battle of Gettysburg, I would be terrified. I would take 
out all the life insurance I could get. I would draw up my 
will and set all my earthly affairs in order. I would say, ‘Til 
probably never live through that battle, so I had better make 
the most of the few years I have left." Yet the facts are that, 
according to the law of averages, it is just as dangerous, just as 
fatal, to try to live from age fifty to age fifty-five in peacetime 
as it was to fight in the Battle of Gettysburg. What I am trying 
to say is this : in times of peace, just as many people die per 
thousand between the ages of fifty and fifty-five as were killed 
per thousand among the 163,000 soldiers who fought at 

I wrote several chapters of this book at James Simpson's 
Num-Ti-Gah Lodge, on the shore of Bow Lake in the Canadian 
Rockies. While stopping there one summer, I met Mr. and 
Mis. Herbert H. Salinger, of 2298 Pacific Avenue, San Fran- 
cisco. Mrs. Salinger, a poised, serene woman, gave me the 


impression that she had never worried. One evening in front 
of the roaring fireplace, I asked her if she had ever been 
troubled by worry. “Troubled by it? “ she said. “My life was 
almost turned it. Before I learned to conquer wony, I lived 
through eleven years of self-made hell. I was irritable and 
hot-tempered. I lived under terrific tension. I would take the 
bus every week from my home in San Mateo to shop in San 
Francisco. But even while shopping, I worried myself into a 
dither: maybe I had left the electric iron connected on the 
ironing board. Maybe the house had caught fire. Maybe the 
maid had run off and left the children. Maybe they had been 
out on their bicycles and been killed by a car. In the midst 
of my shopping, I would often worry myself into a cold per- 
spiration and rush out and take the bus home to see if every- 
thing was all right. No wonder my first marriage ended in 

“My second husband is a lawyer — a quiet, analytical man 
who never worries about anything. When I became tens© 
and anxious, he would say to me, 'Relax. Let's think this 
out. . . . What are you really worrying about? Let's ex- 
amine the law of averages and see whether or not it is likely 
to happen/ 

“For example, I remember the time we were driving from 
Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the Carlsbad Caverns — driv- 
ing on a dirt road — when we were caught in a terrible rain- 

“The car was slithering and sliding. We couldn't control it. 
I was positive we would slide off into one of the ditches that 
flanked the road; but my husband kept repeating to me: T 
am driving very slowly. Nothing serious is likely to happen. 
Even if the car does ..slide into the ditch, by the law of aver- 
ages, we won't be hurt/ His calmness and confidence quieted 

“One summer we were on a camping trip in the Ton quin 
Valley of the Canadian Rockies. One night, we were camping 
seven thousand feet above sea level, when a storm threatened 
to tear our tents to shreds. The tents were tied with guy ropes 
to a wooden platform. The outer tent shook and trembled and 


screamed and shrieked in the wind. I expected every minute 
to see our tent tom loose and hurled through the sky. I was 
terrified l But my husband kept saying : 'Look, my dear, we 
are travelling with Brewster's guides. Brewster’s know what 
they are doing. They have been pitching tents in these 
mountains for sixty years. This tent has been here for many 
seasons. It hasn’t blown down yet and, by the law of averages, 
it won’t blow away tonight; and even if it does, we can take 
shelter in another tent. So relax. ... I did; and I slept 
soundly the balance of the night. 

“A few years ago an infantile-paralysis epidemic swept over 
our part of California. In the old days, I would have been 
hysterical. But my husband persuaded me to act calmly. We 
took all the precautions we could : we kept our children away 
from crowds, away from school and the movies. By consult- 
ing the Board of Health, we found out that even during the 
worst infantile-paralysis epidemic that California had ever 
known up to that time, only 1,835 children had been stricken 
in the entire state of California. And that the usual number 
was around two hundred or three hundred. Tragic as those 
figures are, we nevertheless felt that, according to the law of 
averages, the chances of any one child being stricken were 

" ’By the law of averages, it won’t happen.' That phrase has 
destroyed ninety per cent of my worries; and it has made the 
past twenty years of my life beautiful and peaceful beyond my 
highest expectations." 

General George Crook — probably the greatest Indian fighter 
in American history — says in his Autobiography that "nearly 
all the worries and unhappiness" of the Indians "came from 
their imagination, and not from reality.". 

As I look back across the decades, I can see that that is where 
most of my worries came from also. Jim Grant told me that 
that had been his experience, too. He owns the James A. Grant 
Distributing Company, 204 Franklin Street, New York City. 
He orders from ten to fifteen carloads of Florida oranges and 
grapefruit at a time. He told me that he used to torture himself 
with such thoughts as: What if there's a train wreck? What if 


my fruit is strewn all over the countryside? What if a bridge 
collapses as my cars axe going across it? Of course, the fruit was 
insured; but he feared that if he didn't deliver his fruit on 
time, he might risk the loss of his market. He worried so much 
that he feared he had stomach ulcers and went to a doctor. The 
doctor told him there was nothing wrong with him except jumpy 
nerves. "I saw the light then," he said, "and began to ask 
myself questions. I said to myself: 'Look here, Jim Grant, 
how many fruit cars have you handled over the years?' The 
answer was: 'About twenty-five thousand/ Then I asked my- 
self: 'How many of those cars were ever wrecked?' The answer 
was: 'Oh — maybe five.' Then I said to myself: 'Only five — 
out of twenty-five thousand? Do you know what that means? 
A ratio of five thousand to one ! In other words, by the law of 
averages, based on experience, the chances are five thousand 
to one against one of your cars ever being wrecked. So what 
are you worried about?' 

"Then I said to myself: 'Well, a bridge may collapse ! ' Then 
I asked myself : 'How many cars have you actually lost from a 
bridge collapsing?' The answer was — 'None'. Then I said to 
myself. 'Aren't you a fool to be worrying yourself into stomach 
ulcers over a bridge which has never yet collapsed, and over a 
railroad wreck when the chances are five thousand to one 
against it!' 

"When I looked at it that way," Jim Grant told me, "I felt 
pretty silly. I decided then and there to let the law of averages 
do the worrying for me — and I have not been troubled with my 
'stomach ulcer' since!" 

When A1 Smith was Governor of New York, I heard him 
answer the attacks of his political enemies by saying over and 
over: "Let's examine, the record . . . let's examine the record." 
Then he proceeded to give the facts. The next time you and I 
are worrying about what may happen, let's take a tip from 
wise old A1 Smith : let's examine the record and see what basis 
there is, if any, for our gnawing anxieties. That is precisely 
what Frederick J. Mahlstedt did when he feared he was lying 
in his grave. Here is his story as he told it to one of our adult- 
education classes in New York: 



“Early in June, 1944, I was lying in a slit trench near Omaha 
Beach. I was with the 999th Signal Service Company, and we 
had just ‘dug in' in Normandy. As I looked around at that slit 
trench — just a rectangular hole in the ground — I said to myseli, 
This looks just like a grave/ When I lay down and tried to 
sleep in it, it felt like a grave. I couldn't help saying to my- 
self, ‘ Maybe this is my grave / When the German bombers 
began coming over at 11 p.m., and the bombs started falling, 1 
was scared stiff. For the first two or three nights I couldn't 
sleep at all. By the fourth or fifth night, I was almost a nervous 
wreck. I knew that if I didn't do something, I would go stark 
crazy. So I reminded myself that five nights had passed, and I 
was still alive; and so was every man in our outfit. Only two 
had been injured, and they had been hurt, not by German 
bombs, but by falling flak, from our own anti-aircraft guns. 
I decided to stop worrying by doing something constructive. So 
I built a thick wooden roof over my slit trench, to protect myself 
from flak. I thought of the vast area over which my unit was 
spread. I told myself that the only way I could be killed in that 
deep, narrow slit trench was by a direct hit; and I figured out 
that the chance of a direct hit on me was not one in ten thousand. 
After a couple of nights of looking at it in this way, I calmed 
down and slept even through the bomb raids!" 

The United States Navy used the statistics of the law of 
averages to buck up the morale of their men. One ex-sailor 
told me that when he and his shipmates were assigned to high- 
octane tankers, they were worried stiff. They all believed 
that if a tanker loaded with high-octane gasoline was hit 
by a torpedo, it exploded and blew everybody to kingdom 

But the U.S. Navy knew otherwise; so,the Navy issued exact 
figures, showing that dut of one hundred tankers hit by tor- 
pedoes sixty stayed afloat; and of the forty that did sink, only 
five sank in less than ten minutes. That meant time to get off 
the ship — It also meant casualties were exceedingly small. Did 
this help morale? “This knowledge of the law of averages 
wiped out my jitters," said Clyde W. Maas, of 1969 Walnut 
Street, St. Paul, Minnesota — the man who told this story. “The 


whole crew felt better. We knew we had a chance; and that, 
by the law of averages, we probably wouldn't be killed." 

To break the worry habit before it breaks you— here is Rule 3; 

“Let’s examine the record.” Let’s ask ourselves: “What are the 
chances, according to the law of averages, that this event I am 
worrying about will ever occur/*” 



chapter 9 : Co-operate with the Inevitable 

When I was a little boy, I was playing with some of my friends 
in the attic of an old, abandoned log house in north-west 
Missouri. As I climbed down out of the attic, I rested my feet 
on a window-sill for a moment — and then jumped. I had a 
ling on my left forefinger; and as I jumped, the ring caught on 
a nailhead and tore off my finger. 

I screamed. I was terrified. I was positive I was going to die. 
But after the hand healed, I never worried about it for one split 
second. What would have been the use? ... I accepted the 

Now I often go for a month at a time without even thinking 
about the fact that I have only three fingers and a thumb on 
my left hand. 

A few years ago, I met a man who was running a freight 
elevator in one of the downtown office buildings in New York. 
I noticed that his left hand had been cut off at the wrist. I 
asked him if the loss of that hand bothered him. He said, "Oh, 
no, I hardly ever think about it. I am not married; and the 
only time I ever think about it is when I try to thread a needle." 

It is astonishing how quickly we can accept almost any situa- 
tion — if we have to — and adjust ourselves to it and forget 
about it. 

I often think of an inscription on the ruins of a fifteenth- 
century cathedral in Amsterdam, Holland. This inscription 
says in Flemish: "It is so. It cannot be otherwise/' 

As you and I march across the decades of time, we are going 
to meet a lot of unpleasant situations that are so. They cannot 
be otherwise. We have our choice. We can either accept them 
as inevitable and adjust ourselves to them, or we can ruin our 
fives with rebellion and maybe end up with a nervous break- 

Here is a bit of sage advice from one of my favourite philoso- 



phers, William James. “Be wilting to have it so," he said. 
"Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to over- 
coming the consequences of any misfortune." Elizabeth Conn- 
ley, of 2840 NE 49th Avenue, Portland, Oregon, had to find 
that out the hard way. Here is a letter that she wrote me 
recently: “On the very day that America was celebrating the 
victory of our armed forces in North Africa," the letter says, 
“I received a telegram from the War Department: my nephew 
— the person I loved most — was missing in action. A short time 
later, another telegram arrived saying he was dead. 

“I was prostrate with grief. Up to that time, I had felt that 
life had been very good to me. I had a job I loved. I had 
helped to raise this nephew. He represented to me all that was 
fine and good in young manhood. I had felt that all the bread 
I had cast upon the waters was coming back to me as cake i . . . 
Then came this telegram. My whole world collapsed. I felt 
there was nothing left to five for. I neglected my work; 
neglected my friends. I let everything go. I was bitter and 
resentful. Why did my loving nephew have to be taken? Why 
did this good boy — with life all before him — why did he have 
to be killed? I couldn't accept it. My grief was so overwhelm- 
ing that I decided to give up my work, and go away and hide 
myself in my tears and bitterness. 

“I was clearing out my desk, getting ready to quit, when I 
came across a letter that I had forgotten — a letter from this 
nephew who had been killed, a letter he had written to me when 
my mother had died a few years ago. ‘Of course, we will miss 
her,' the letter said, ‘and especially you. But I know you'll 
carry on. Your own personal philosophy will make you do that. 
I shall never forget the beautiful truths you taught me. Where- 
ever I am, or how far, apart we may be, I shall always remem- 
ber that you taught me to smile, and to take whatever comes, 
like a man/ 

“I read and reread that letter. It seemed as if he were there 
beside me, speaking to me. He seemed to be saying to me: 
‘Why don't you do what you taught me to do? Carry on, no 
matter what happens. Hide your private sorrows under a smile 
and cany on/ 


"So, I went back to my work. I stopped being bitter and 
rebellious. I kept saying to myself: ‘It is done. I can't change 
it. But I can and will carry on as he wished me to do.' I threw 
all my mind and strength into my work. I wrote letters to 
soldiers — to other people's boys. I joined an adult-education 
class at night — seeking out new interests and making new 
friends. I can hardly believe the change that has come over 
me, I have ceased mourning over the past that is for ever gone. 
I am living each day now with joy — just as my nephew would 
have wanted me to do. I have made peace with life. I have 
accepted my fate. I am now living a fuller and more complete 
life than I had ever known." 

Elizabeth Connley, out in Portland, Oregon, learned what all 
of us will have to learn sooner or later : namely, that we must 
accept and co-operate with the inevitable. "It is so. It cannot 
be otherwise." That is not an easy lesson to learn. Even 
kings on their thrones have to keep reminding themselves of it. 
the late George V had these framed words hanging on the wall 
©f his library in Buckingham Palace: "Teach me neither to 
cry for the moon nor over spilt milk." The same thought is 
expressed by Schopenhauer in this way: "A good supply of 
resignation is of the first importance in providing for the journey 
of life " 

Obviously, circumstances alone do not make us happy or 
unhappy. It is the way we react to circumstances that deter- 
mines our feelings. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is 
within you. That is where the kingdom of hell is, too. 

We can all endure disaster and tragedy and triumph over 
them — if we have to. We may not think we can, but we have 
surprisingly strong inner resources that will see us through if 
we will only make use of them. We are stronger than we think. 

The late Booth Tarkington always said; "I could take any- 
thing that life could force upon me except one thing: blindness. 
I could never endure that." 

Then one day, when he was along in his sixties, Tarkington 
glanced down at the carpet on the floor. The colours were 
blurred. He couldn't see the pattern. He went to a specialist. 
He learned the tragic truth : he was losing his sight. One eye 


was nearly blind; the other would follow. That which he feared 
most had come upon him. 

And how did Tarkington react to this * ‘worst of all disasters'’? 
Did he feel, “This is it! This is the end of my life” ? No, to his 
amazement, he felt quite gay. He even called upon his humour. 
Floating “specks” annoyed him; they would swim across his 
eyes and cut off his vision. Yet when the largest of these specks 
would swim across his sight, he would say, “Hello! There’s 
Grandfather again! Wonder where he’s going on this hue 

How could fate ever conquer a spirit like that? The answer 
is it couldn’t. When total darkness closed in, Tarkington said, 
“I found I could take the loss of my eyesight, just as a man 
can take anything else. If I lost aU five of my senses, I know I 
could live on inside my mind. For it is in the mind we see, and 
in the mind we live, whether we know it or not.” 

In the hope of restoring his eyesight, Tarkington had to go 
through more than twelve operations within one year. With 
locM anaesthetic! Did he rail against this? He knew it had to 
be done. He knew he couldn’t ■ escape it, so the only way to 
lessen Ms suffering was to take it with grace. He refused a 
private room at the hospital and went into a ward, where ht 
could be with other people who had troubles, too. He tried to 
cheer them up. And when he had to submit to repeated opera- 
tions — fully conscious of what was being done to his eyes — he 
tried to remember how fortunate he was. “How wonderful 1” 
he said. “How wonderful, that science now has the skill to 
operate on anything so delicate as the human eye 1 ’ ’ 

The average man would have been a nervous wreck if he 
had had to endure more than twelve operations and blindness. 
Yet Tarkington said, “I would not exchange this experience for 
a happier one,” It taught him acceptance. It taught him that 
nothing life could bring him was beyond his strength to endure, 
It taught him, as John Milton discovered, that “It is not miser- 
able to be blind, it is only miserable not to be able to endure 

Margaret Fuller, the famous New England feminist, once 
offered as her credo: “I accept the Universe!” 



When grouchy old Thomas Carlyle heard that in England, he 
snorted, "By gad, she'd better!" Yes, and by gad, you and I 
had better accept the inevitable, too ! 

If we rail and kick against it and grow bitter, we won't 
change the inevitable; but we will change ourselves. I know. I 
have tried it. 

I once refused to accept an inevitable situation with which I 
was confronted. I played the fool and railed against it, and 
rebelled. I turned my nights into hells of insomnia. I brought 
upon myself everything I didn't want. Finally, after a year of 
self-torture, I had to accept what I knew from the outset I 
couldn't possibly alter. 

I should have cried out years ago with old Walt Whitman : 

Oh , to confront night , storms , hunger. 

Ridicule , accident , rebuffs as the trees 
and animals do. 

I spent twelve years working with cattle; yet I never saw a 
Jersey cow running a temperature because the pasture was burn- 
ing up from a lack of rain or because of sleet and cold or because 
her boy friend was paying too much attention to another heifer. 
The animals confront night, storms, and hunger calmly; so they 
never have nervous breakdowns or stomach ulcers; and they 
never go insane. 

Am I advocating that we simply bow down to all the adversi- 
ties that come our way? Not by a long shot! That is mere 
fatalism. As long as there is a chance that we can save a 
situation, let's fight! But when common sense tells us that we 
are up against something that is so — and cannot be otherwise — 
then, in the name of our sanity, let's not look before and after 
and pine for what is not. 

The late Dean Hawkes of Columbia University told me that 
he had taken a Mother Goose rhyme as one of his mottoes ; 

For every ailment under the sun , 

There is a remedy , or there is none; 

If there be one , try to find it; 

If there be none > never mind it. 



While writing this book, I interviewed a number of the lead- 
ing business men of America; and I was impressed by the fact 
that they co-operated with the inevitable and led lives singu- 
larly free from worry. If they hadn't done that, they would 
have cracked under the strain. Here are a few examples of what 
I mean; 

J. C. Penney, founder of the nation-wide chain of Penney 
stores, said to me : “I wouldn't worry if I lost every cent I have 
because I don't see what is to be gained by worrying. I dp the 
best job I possibly can; and leave the results in the laps of 
the gods." 

Henry Ford told me much the same thing. "When I can't 
handle events," he said, "I let them handle themselves." 

When I asked K. T. Keller, president of the Chrysler Cor- 
poration, how he kept from worrying, he replied: "When I am 
up against a tough situation, if I can do anything about it, I do 
it. If I can't, I just forget it. I never worry about the future, 
because I know no man living can possibly figure out what is 
going to happen in the future. There are so many forces that 
will affect that future! Nobody can tell what prompts those 
forces — or understand them. So why worry about them?" 
K. T. Keller would be embarrassed if you told him he is a 
philosopher. He is just a good business man, yet he has 
stumbled on the same philosophy that Epictetus taught in 
Rome nineteen centuries ago. "There is only one way to happi- 
ness," Epictetus taught the Romans, "and that is to cease 
worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will." 

Sarah Bernhardt, the "divine Sarah" was an illustrious 
example of a woman who knew how to co-operate with the 
inevitable. For half a century, she had been the reigning queen 
of the theatre on four continents — the best-loved actress on 
earth. Then when she was seventy-one and broke — she had lost 
all her money — her physician. Professor Pozzi of Paris, told her 
he would have to amputate her leg. While crossing the Atlantic, 
she had fallen on deck during a storm, and injured her leg 
severely. Phlebitis developed. Her leg shrank. The pain be- 
came so intense that the doctor felt her leg had to be amputated. 
He was almost afraid to tell the stormy, tempestuous "divine 



Sarah” what had to be done. He fully expected that the terrible 
news would set off an explosion of hysteria. But he was wrong. 
Sarah looked at him a moment, and then said quietly, “If it has 
to be, it has to be.” It was fate. 

As she was being wheeled away to the operating room, her 
son stood weeping. She waved to him with a, gay gesture and 
said cheerfully: “Don't go away. I'll be right back.” 

On the way to the operating room she recited a scene from 
one of her plays. Someone asked her if she were doing this to 
cheer herself up. She said: “No, to cheer up the doctors and 
nurses. It will be a strain on them.” 

After recovering from the operation, Sarah Bernhardt went 
on touring the world and enchanting audiences for another 
seven years. 

“When we stop fighting the inevitable,” said Elsie Mac- 
Cormick in a Reader's Digest article, “we release energy which 
enables us to create a richer life.” 

No one living has enough emotion and vigour to fight the 
inevitable and, at the same time, enough left over to create a 
new life. Choose one or the other. You can either bend with 
the inevitable sleet-storms of life — or you can resist them and 

I saw that happen on a farm I own in Missouri. I planted a 
score of trees on that farm. At first, they grew with astonish- 
ing rapidity. Then a sleet-storm encrusted each twig and branch 
with a heavy coating of ice. Instead of bowing gracefully to 
their burden, these trees proudly resisted and broke and split 
under the load — and had to be destroyed. They hadn't learned 
the wisdom of the forests of the north. I have travelled hundreds 
of miles through the evergreen forests of Canada, yet I have 
never seen a spruce or a pine broken by sleet or ice. These ever- 
green forests know how to bend, how to bow down their 
branches, how to co-operate with the inevitable. 

The masters of jujitsu teach their pupils to “bend like the 
willow; don't resist like the oak.” 

Why do you think your automobile tyres stand up on the 
road and take so much punishment? At first, the tyre the 
manufacturers tried to make a tyre that would resist the shocks 


of the road. It was soon cut to ribbons. Then they made a 
tyre that would absorb the shocks of the road. That tyre could 
"‘take it". You and I will last longer, and enjoy smoother 
riding, if we learn to absorb the shocks and jolts along the 
rocky road of life. 

What will happen to you and me if we resist the shocks of 
life instead of absorbing them? What will happen if we refuse 
to "bend like the willow" and insist on resisting like the oak? 
The answer is easy. We will set up a series of inner conflicts. 
We will be worried, tense, strained, and neurotic. 

If we go still further and reject the harsh world of reality and 
retreat into a dream world of our own making, we will then be 

During the war, millions of frightened soldiers had either to 
accept the inevitable or break under the strain. To illustrate, 
let's take the case of William H. Casselius, 7126 76th Street, 
Glendale, New York. Here is a prize-winning talk he gave 
before one of my adult-education classes in New York: 

"Shortly after I joined the Coast Guard, I was assigned to one 
of the hottest spots on this side of the Atlantic. I was made a 
supervisor of explosives. Imagine it. Me l A biscuit salesman 
becoming a supervisor of explosives ! The very thought of find- 
ing yourself standing on top of thousands of tons of T.N.T. is 
enough to chill the marrow in a cracker salesman's bones. I 
was given only two days of instruction; and what I learned 
filled me with even more terror. I'll never forget my first 
assignment. On a dark, cold, foggy day, I was given my orders 
on the open pier of Caven Point, Bayonne, New Jersey. 

"I was assigned to Hold No. 5 on my ship. I had to work 
down in that hold with five longshoremen. They had strong 
backs, but they knew nothing whatever about explosives. And 
they were loading blockbusters, each one of which contained a 
ton of T.N.T. — enough explosive to blow that old ship to king- 
dom come.* These blockbusters were being lowered by two 
cables. I kept saying to myself; Suppose one of those cables 
slipped — or broke I Oh, boy 1 Was I scared ! I trembled. My 
mouth was dry. My knees sagged. My heart pounded. But I 
couldn't run away. That would be desertion. I would be dis- 



graced — my parents would be disgraced — and I might be shot 
for desertion. 1 couldn't run. I had to stay. I kept looking at 
the careless way those longshoremen were handling those block- 
busters. The ship might blow up any minute. After an hour or 
more of this spine-chilling terror, I began to use a little common 
sense. I gave myself a good talking to. I said, ‘Look here! 
So you are blown up. So what! You will never know the 
difference I It will be an easy way to die. Much better than 
dying by cancer. Don't be a fool. You can't expect to live for 
ever ! You've got to do this job — or be shot. So you might as 
well like it.' 

“I talked to myself like that for hours; and I began to feel at 
ease. Finally, I overcame my worry and fears by forcing my- 
self to accept an inevitable situation. 

'TD never forget that lesson. Every time I am tempted now 
to worry about something I can't possibly change, I shrug my 
shoulders and say, ‘Forget it.' I find that it works — even for a 
biscuit salesman." Hooray! Let's give three cheers and one 
cheer more for the biscuit salesman of the Pinafore. 

Outside the crucifixion of Jesus, the most famous death scene 
in all history was the death of Socrates. Ten thousand centuries 
from now, men will still be reading and cherishing Plato's im- 
mortal description of it — one of the most moving and beautiful 
passages in all literature. Certain men of Athens — jealous and 
envious of old barefooted Socrates — trumped up charges against 
him and had him tried and condemned to death. When the 
friendly jailer gave Socrates the poison cup to drink, the jailer 
said: “Try to bear lightly what needs must be.” Socrates did. 
He faced death with a calmness and resignation that touched 
the hem of divinity. 

“Try to bear Ughlly what needs must be." Those words were 
spoken 399 years before Christ was bom; but this worrying 
old world needs those words today more than ever before : “Try 
to bear lightly what needs must be.” 

During the past eight years, I have been reading practically 
every ' book and magazine article I could find that dealt even 
remotely with banishing worry. . . * Would you like to know 
what is the best single bit of advice about worry that I have 


ever discovered in all that reading? Well, here it is — summed 
up in twenty-seven words — words that you and I ought to paste 
on our bathroom mirrors, so that each time we wash our faces 
we could also wash away all worry from our minds* This price-' 
less prayer was written by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, Professor of 
Applied Christianity, Union Theological Seminary, Broadway 
and 120th Street, New York. 

God grant me the serenity 

To accept the things 1 cannot change; 

The courage to change the things I can ; 

And the wisdom to know the difference . 

To break the worry habit before it breaks you, Rule 4 is : 
Co-operate with the inevitable. 



chapter 10: Put a “Stop-Loss” Order on Tour 


Would you like to know how to make money on the Stock 
Exchange? Weil, so would a million other people — and if I 
knew the answer, this book would sell for a fabulous price. 
However, there's one good idea that some successful operators 
use. This story was told to me by Charles Roberts, an invest- 
ment counsellor with offices at 17 East 42nd Street, New York. 

"X originally came up to New York from Texas with twenty 
thousand dollars which my friends had given me to invest in 
the stock market/' Charles Roberts told me. “I thought," he 
continued, "that I knew the ropes in the stock market; but I 
lost every cent. True, I made a lot of profit on some deals; but 
I ended up by losing everything. 

"I did not mind so much losing my own money," Mr. 
Roberts explained, "but I felt terrible about having lost my 
friends' money, even though they could well afford it. I dreaded 
facing them again after our venture had turned out so unfor- 
tunately, but, to my astonishment, they not only were good 
sports about it, but proved to be incurable optimists. 

"I knew I had been trading on a hit-or-miss basis and depend- 
ing largely on luck and other people's opinions. As H. I. 
Phillips said, I had been "playing the stock market by ear'. 

"I began to think over my mistakes and I determined that 
before I went back into the market again, I would try to find 
out what it was all about. So I sought out and became 
acquainted with one of the most successful speculators who ever 
lived; Burton S. Castles. I believed I could learn a great deal 
from him because he had long enjoyed the reputation of being 
successful year after year and I knew that such a career was not 
the result of mere chance or luck. 

"He asked me a few questions about how I had traded before 



and then told me what I believe is the most important principle 
in trading. He said, 'I put a stop-loss order on every market 
commitment I make. If I buy a stock at, say, fifty dollars a 
share, I immediately place a stop-loss order on it at forty-five/ 
That means that when and if the stock should decline as much 
as five points below its cost, it would be sold automatically, 
thereby, limiting the loss to five points. 

" 'If your commitments are intelligently made in the first 
place/ the old master continued, 'your profits will average ten, 
twenty-five, or even fifty points. Consequently, by limiting 
your losss to five points, you can be wrong more than half of 
the time and still make plenty of money?' 

"I adopted that principle immediately and have used it ever 
since. It has saved my clients and me many thousands of 

"After a while I realised that the stop-loss principle could 
be used in other ways besides in the stock market. I began to 
place a stop-loss order on any and every kind of annoyance and 
resentment that came to me. It has worked like magic. 

"For example, I often have a luncheon date with a friend 
who is rarely on time. In the old days, he used to keep me 
stewing around for half my lunch hour before he showed up. 
Finally, I told him about my stop-loss orders on my worries. 
I said, 'Bill, my stop-loss order on waiting for you is exactly 
ten minutes. If you arrive more than ten minutes late, our 
luncheon engagement will be sold down the river — and I'll be 

f f > 


Man alive! How I wish I had had the sense, years ago, to 
put stop-loss orders on my impatience, on my temper, on my 
desire for self-justification, on my regrets, and on all my mental 
and emotional strains,, Why didn't I have the horse sense to 
size up each situation that threatened to destroy my peace of 
mind and say to myself: "See here, Dale Carnegie, this situa- 
tion is worth just so much fussing about — and no more"? . . . 
Why didn't I? 

However, I must give myself credit for a little sense on one 
occasion, at least. And it was a serious occasion, too — a crisis 
in my life— a crisis when I stood watching my dreams and my 



plans for the future and the work of years vanish into thin air. 
It happened like this. In my early thirties, I had decided to 
spend my life writing novels. I was going to be a second 
Frank Norris or Jack London or Thomas Hardy., I was so in 
earnest that I spent two years in Europe — where I could live 
cheaply with dollars during the period of wild, printing-press 
money that followed the First World War. I spent two years 
there, writing my magnum opus. I called it The Blizzard. The 
title was a natural, for the reception it got among publishers 
was as cold as any blizzard that ever howled across the plains 
of the Dakotas. When my literary agent told me it was worth- 
less, that I had no gift, no talent, for fiction, my heart almost 
stopped. I left his office in a daze. I couldn't have been more 
stunned if he had hit me across the head with a dub. I was 
stupefied. I realised that I was standing at the crossroads of 
life, and had to make a tremendous decision. What should I 
do? Which way should I turn? Weeks passed before I came 
out of the daze. At that time, I had never heard of the phrase 
"put a stop-loss order on your worries". But as I look back 
now, I can see that I did just that. I wrote off my two years 
of sweating over that novel for just what they were worth — a 
noble experiment — and went forward from there. I returned 
to my work of organising and teaching adult-education classes, 
and wrote biographies in my spare time — biographies and non- 
fiction books such as the one you are reading now. 

Am I glad now that I made that decision? Glad? Every time 
I think about it now I feel like dancing in the street for sheer 
joy ! I can honestly say that I have never spent a day or an 
hour since, lamenting the fact that I am not another Thomas 

One night a century ago, when a screech owl was screeching 
in the woods along the shore of Walden Pond, Henry Thoreau 
dipped his goose quill into his homemade ink and wrote in his 
diary: "The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life, 
which is required to be exchanged fox it immediately or in the 
long run." 

To put it another way : we are fools when we overpay for a 
thing in terms of what it takes out of our very existence. 


Yet’ that is precisely what Gilbert and Sullivan did. They 
knew how to create gay words and gay music, but they knew 
distressingly little about how to create gaiety in their own lives. 
They created some of the loveliest light operas that ever de- 
lighted the world : Patience, Pinafore, The Mikado. But they 
couldn't control their tempers. They embittered their years 
over nothing more than the price of a carpet! Sullivan ordered 
a new carpet for the theatre they had bought. When Gilbert 
saw the bill, he hit the roof. They battled it out in court, and 
never spoke to one another again as long as they lived. When 
Sullivan wrote the music for a new production, he mailed it to 
Gilbert; and when Gilbert wrote the words, he mailed it back 
to Sullivan. Once they had to take a curtain call together, but 
they stood on opposite sides of the stage and bowed in diderent 
directions, so they wouldn't see one another. They hadn't the 
sense to put a stop-loss order on their resentments, as Lincoln 

Once, during the Civil War, when some of Lincoln's friends 
were denouncing his bitter enemies, Lincoln said: “You have 
more of a feeling of personal resentment than I have. Perhaps 
I have too little of it; but I never thought it paid. A man 
doesn't have the time to spend half his life in quarrels. If any 
man ceases to attack me, I never remember the past against 

I wish an old aunt of mine — Aunt Edith— had had Lincoln's 
forgiving spirit. She and Uncle Frank lived on a mortgaged 
farm that was infested with cockleburs and cursed with poor 
soil and ditches. They had tough going — had to squeeze every 
nickel. But Aunt Edith loved to buy a few curtains and other 
items to brighten up their bare home. She bought these small 
luxuries on credit at I}an Eversole's drygoods store in Mary- 
ville, Missouri. Unde Frank worried about their debts. He had 
a farmer's horror of running up bills, so he secretly told Dan 
Eversole to stop letting his wife buy on credit. When she heard 
that, she hit the roof — and she was still hitting the roof about 
it almost fifty years after it had happened. I have heard her 
tell the story — not once, but many times. The last time I ever 
saw her, she was in her late seventies. I said to her: “Aunt 


Edith, Uncle Frank did wrong to humiliate you; but don’t you 
honestly feel that your complaining about it almost half a 
century after it happened is infinitely worse than what he did?” 
(I might as well have said it to the moon.) 

Aunt Edith paid dearly for the grudge and bitter memories 
that she nourished. She paid for them with her own peace of 

When Benjamin Franklin was seven years old, he made a 
mistake that he remembered for seventy years. When he was 
a lad of seven, he fell in love with a whistle. He was so excited 
about it that he went into the toyshop, piled all his coppers on 
the counter, and demanded the whistle without even asking its 
price. "I then came home,” he wrote to a friend seventy years 
later, “and went whistling all over the house, much pleased 
with my whistle.” But when his older brothers and sisters 
found out that he had paid far more for his whistle than he 
should have paid, they gave him the horse laugh; and, as he 
said, “I cried with vexation.” 

Years later, when Franklin was a world-famous figure, and 
Ambassador to France, he still remembered that the fact that 
he had paid too much for his whistle had caused him “more 
chagrin than the whistle gave him pleasure.” 

But the lesson it taught Franklin was cheap in the end. “As 
I grew up,” he said, “and came into the world and observed 
the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who 
gave too much for the whistle . In short, I conceive that a great 
part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the 
false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by 
their giving too much for their whistles . 

Gilbert and Sullivan paid too much for their whistle. So did 
Aunt Edith. So did Dale Carnegie — on a many occasions. And 
so did the immortal Leo Tolstoy, author of two of the world’s 
greatest novels. War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Accord- 
ing to The Encyclopaedia Bntanmca, Leo Tolstoy’ was, during 
the last twenty years of his life, “probably the most venerated 
man in the whole world.” For twenty years before he died— 
from 1890 to 1910 — an unending stream of admirers made 
pilgrimages to his home in order to catch a glimpse of his 


face, to hear the sound of his voice, or even touch the hem 
of his garment* Every sentence he uttered was taken down 
in a notebook, almost as if it were a "divine revelation". But 
when it came to living — to ordinary living — well, Tolstoy had 
even less sense at seventy than Franklin had at seven ! He had 
no sense at all. 

Here's what I mean. Tolstoy married a girl he loved very 
dearly. In fact, they were so happy together that they used 
to get on their knees and pray to God to let them continue 
their lives in such sheer, heavenly ecstasy. But the girl Tolstoy 
married was jealous by nature. She used to dress herself up 
as a peasant and spy on his movements, even out in the woods. 
They had fearful rows. She became so jealous, even of her own 
children, that she grabbed a gun and shot a hole in her 
daughter’s photograph. She even rolled on the floor with an 
opium bottle held to her lips, and threatened to commit suicide, 
while the children huddled in a comer of the room and screamed 
with terror. 

And what did Tolstoy do? Well, I don’t blame the man foi 
up and smashing the furniture — he had good provocation. But 
he did far worse than that. He kept a private diary I Yes, a 
diary, in which he placed all the blame on his wife l That 
was his "whistle" l He was determined to make sure that 
coming generations would exonerate him and put the blame on 
his wife. And what did his wife do, in answer to this? , Why, 
she tore pages out of his diary and burned them, of course. 
She started a diary of her own, in which she made him the 
villain. She even wrote a novel, entitled Whose Fault? in 
which she depicted her husband as a household fiend and herself 
as a martyr. 

All to what end? Why did these two people turn the only 
home they had into what Tolstoy himself called "a lunatic 
asylum"? Obviously, there were several reasons. One of those 
reasons was their burning desire to impress you and me. Yes, 
we are die posterity whose opinion they were worried about t 
Do we give a hoot in Hades about which one was to blame? 
No, we are too concerned with our own problems to waste a 
minute thinking about the Tolstoys. What a price these two 


wretched people paid for their whistle! Fifty years of living 
in a veritable hell — just because neither of them had the sense 
to say: “Stop!" Because neither of them had enough 
judgment of values to say, “Let's put a stop-loss order on 
this thing instantly. We are squandering our lives. Let's say 
'Enough' now!" 

Yes, I honestly believe that this is one of the greatest secrets 
to true peace of mind — a decent sense of values. And I believe 
we could annihilate fifty per cent of all our worries at once if 
we would develop a sort of private gold standard — a gold 
standard of what things are worth to us in terms of our lives. 
So, to break the worry habit before it breaks you, here is 

Rule 5: 

Whenever we are tempted to throw good money after bad 
in terms ol human living, let’s stop and ask ourselves these three 

1. How much does this thing I am worrying about really 

matter to meP 

2. At what point shall I set a “stop-loss” order on this worry 

—and forget itP 

8. Exactly how much shall I pay for this whistleP Have I 
already paid more than it is worthP 



chapter ii Don’t Try to Saw Sawdust 

As I write this sentence, I can look out of my window and see 
some dinosaur tracks in my garden — dinosaur tracks embedded 
in shale and stone. I purchased those dinosaur tracks from the 
Peabody Museum of Yale University; and I have a letter from 
the curator of the Peabody Museum, saying that those tracks 
were made 180 million years ago. Even a Mongolian idiot 
wouldn t dream of trying to go back 180 million years to change 
those tracks. Yet that would not be any more foolish than 
worrying because we can't go back and change what happened 
i8g seconds ago— and a lot of us are doing just that. To be 
sure, we may do something to modify the effects of what hap- 
pened 180 seconds ago; but we can't possibly change the event 
that occurred then. 

There is only one way on God's green footstool that the past 
can be constructive; and that is by calmly analysing our past 
mistakes and profiting by them — and forgetting them. 

I know that is true; but have I always had the courage and 
sense to do it? To answer that question, let me tell you about 
a fantastic experience I had years ago. I let more than three 
hundred thousand dollars slip through my fingers without 
making a penny's profit. It happened like this: I launched a 
large-scale enterprise in adult education, opened branches in 
various cities, and spent money lavishly in overhead and 
advertising. I was so busy with teaching that I had neither 
the time nor the desire. to look after finances. I was too naive 
to realise that I needed an astute business manager to watch 

Finally, after about a year, I discovered a sobering and 
shocking truth. I discovered that in spite of our enormous 
intake, we had not netted any profit whatever. After discover- 
ing that, I should have done two things. First, I should have 
had the sense to do what George Washington Carver, the negro 



scientist, did when he lost forty thousand dollars in a bank crash 
— the savings of a lifetime. When someone asked him if he 
knew he was bankrupt, he replied, “Yes, I heard" — and went 
on with his teaching. He wiped the loss out of his mind so 
completely that he never mentioned it again. 

Here is the second thing I should have done : I should have 
analysed my mistakes and learned a lasting lesson. 

But frankly, I didn't do either one of these things. Instead, 
I went into a tailspin of worry. For months I was in a daze. 
I lost sleep and I lost weight. Instead of learning a lesson 
from this enormous mistake, I went right ahead and did the 
same thing again on a smaller scale ! 

It is embarrassing for me to admit all this stupidity; but I 
discovered long ago that “it is easier to teach twenty what were 
good to be done than to be one of twenty to follow mine own 

How I wish that I had had the privilege of attending the 
George Washington High School here in New York and study- 
ing under Mr. Brandwine — the same teacher who taught Allen 
Saunders, of 939 Woodycrest Avenue, Bronx, New York I 

Mr. Saunders told me that the teacher of his hygiene class, 
Mr. Brandwine, taught him one of the most valuable lessons 
he had ever learned. “I was only in my teens," said Allen 
Saunders as he told me the story, “but I was a worrier even 
then. I used to stew and fret about the mistakes I had made. 
If I turned in an examination paper, I used to lie awake and 
chew my fingernails for fear I hadn't passed. I was always 
living over the things I had done, and wishing I'd done them 
differently; thinking over the things I had said, and wishing 
I'd said them better. 

“Then one morning, our class filed into the science 
laboratory, and there was the teacher, Mr. Brandwine, with a 
bottle of milk prominently displayed on the edge of the desk. 
We all sat down, staring at the milk, and wondering what it 
had to do with the hygiene course he was teaching. Then, all of a 
sudden, Mr. Brandwine stood up, swept the bottle of milk with 
a crash into the sink — and shouted : 'Don't cry over spilt milk 1 ' 

“He then made us all come to the sink and look at the 


don't try to saw sawdust 

wreckage, 'Take a good look/ he told us, 'because I want you 
to remember this lesson the rest of your lives. That milk is 
gone you can see it's down the drain; and all the f ussin g and 
hair-pulling in the world won't bring back a drop of it. With a 
little thought and prevention, that milk might have been saved. 
But it’s too late now — all we can do is write it off, forget it, and 
go on to the next thing/ 

"That one little demonstration,” Men Saunders told me, 

stuck with me long after I’d forgotten my solid geometry and 
Latin. In fact, it taught me more about practical living than 
anything else in my four years of high school. It taught me to 
keep from spilling milk if I could; but to forget it completely, 
once it was spilled and had gone down the drain.” 

Some readers are going to snort at the idea of making so 
much over a hackneyed proverb like "Don’t cry over spilt 
milk ’. I know it is trite, commonplace, and a platitude. I 
know you have heard it a thousand times. But I also know 
that these hackneyed proverbs contain the very essence of the 
distilled wisdom of all ages. They have come out of the fiery 
experience of the human race and have been handed down 
through countless generations. If you were to read everything 
that has ever been written about worry by the great scholars 
of all time, you would never read any thin g more basic or more 
profound than such hackneyed proverbs as “Don’t cross your 
bridges until you come to them” and "Don’t cry over spit 
milk”. If we only applied those two proverbs — instead of 
snorting at them— we wouldn’t need this book at all. In fact, 
if we applied most of the old proverbs, we would lead almost 
perfect lives. However, knowledge isn’t power until it is 
applied; and the purpose of this book is not to tell you some- 
thing new. The purpose of this book is to remind you of what 
you already know and to kick you in the shins and inspire you 
to do something about applying it. 

I have always admired a man like the late Fred Fuller Shedd, 
who had a gift for stating an old truth in a new and picturesque 
way. He was editor of the Philadelphia Bulletin; and, while 
addressing a college graduating class, he asked: "How many 
of you have ever sawed wood? Let’s see your hands.” Most 


of them had. Then he inquired : "How many of you have ever 
sawed sawdust?" No hands went up. 

"Of course, you can't saw sawdust!" Mr. Shedd exclaimed. 
"It's already sawed! And it's the same with the past. When 
you start worrying about things that are over and done with, 
you're merely trying to saw sawdust." 

When Connie Mack, the grand old man of baseball, was 
eighty-one years old, I asked him if he had ever worried over 
games that were lost. 

"Oh, yes, I used to," Connie Mack told me. "But I got over 
that foolishness long years ago. I found out it didn't get me 
anywhere at all. You can't grind any grain," he said, "with 
water that has already gone down the creek." 

No, you can't grind any grain — and you can't saw any logs 
with water that has already gone down the creek. But you 
can saw wrinkles in your face and ulcers in your stomach. 

I had dinner with Jack Dempsey last Thanksgiving; and he 
told me over the turkey and cranberry sauce about the fight 
in which he lost the heavyweight championship to Tunney. 
Naturally, it was a blow to his ego. "In the midst of that 
fight," he told me, "I suddenly realised I had become an old 
man. ... At the end of the tenth round, I was still on my 
feet, but that was about all. My face was puffed and cut, 
and my eyes were nearly dosed. ... I saw the referee raise 
Gene Tunney's hand in token of victory. ... I was no longer 
champion of the world. I started back in the rain — back 
through the crowd to my dressing-room. As I passed, some 
people tried to grab my hand. Others had tears in their eyes. 

"A year later, I fought Tunney again. But it was no use. 
I was through for ever. It was hard to keep from worrying 
about it all, but I said to myself, Tm not going to live in the 
past or ciy over spilt milk. I am going to take this blow on 
the chin and not let it floor me.' " 

And that is precisely what Jack Dempsey did. How? By 
saying to himself over and over, "I won't worry about the 
past"? No, that would merely have forced him to think of 
his past worries. He did it by accepting and writing off his 
defeat and then concentrating on plans for the future. He did 

* don't try to saw sawdust 97 

it by running the Jack Dempsey Restaurant on Broadway and 
the Great Northern Hotel on 57th Street. He did it by 
promoting prize fights and giving boxing exhibitions. He did it 
by getting so busy on something constructive that he had neither 
the time nor the temptation to worry about the past. “I have 
had a better time during the last ten years/' Jack Dempsey 
said, 4 'than I had when I was champion." 

As I read history and biography and observe people under 
trying circumstances, I am constantly astonished and inspired 
by some people's ability to write off their worries and tragedies 
and go on living fairly happy lives. 

I once paid a visit to Sing Sing, and the thing that astonished 
me most was that the prisoners there appeared to be about as 
happy as the average person on the outside. I commented on 
it to Lewis E. Lawes — then warden of Sing Sing — and he told 
me that when criminals first arrive at Sing Sing, they are likely 
to be resentful and bitter. But after a few months, the majority 
of the more intelligent ones write off their misfortunes and settle 
down and accept prison life calmly and make the best of it. 
Warden Lawes told me about one Sing Sing prisoner — a 
gardener — who sang as he cultivated the vegetables and flowers 
inside the prison walls. 

That Sing Sing prisoner who sang as he cultivated the flowers 
showed a lot more sense than most of us do. He knew that 

The Moving Finger writes; and , having writ , 

Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit 
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line , 

Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it . 

So why waste the tears? Of course, we have been guilty of 
blunders and absurdities! And so what? Who hasn't? Even 
Napoleon lost one-third of all the important battles he fought* 
Perhaps our batting average is no worse than Napoleon's. Who 

And, anyhow, all the king's horses and all the king's men 
can't put the past together again. So let's remember Rule 7 : 

Don’t try to saw sawdust. 



Rule i: Crowd worry out of your mind by keep- 
ing busy. Plenty of action is one of the best 
therapies ever devised for curing "wibbex 

Rule 2 : Don't fuss about trifles. Don't permit little 
things — the mere termites of life — to ruin 
your happiness. 

Rule 3: Use the law of averages to outlaw your 
worries. Ask yourself : "What are the odds 
against this thing's happening at all?” 

Rule 4: Co-operate with the inevitable. If you 
know a circumstance is beyond your power 
to change or revise, say to yourself: "It is 
so; it cannot be otherwise.” 

Rule 5: Put a "stop-loss” order on your worries. 

Decide just how much aifxiety a thing may 
be worth — and refuse to give it any more. 

Rule 6 : Let the past bury its dead. Don't saw saw- 



chapter 12: Eight Words That Can 
Transform Tour Life 

A few years ago, I was asked to answer this question on a 
radio programme: “What is the biggest lesson you have ever 

That was easy: by far the most vital lesson I have ever 
learned is the importance of what we think . If I knew what 
you think, I would know what you are. Our thoughts make us 
what we are. Our mental attitude is the X factor that deter- 
mines our fate. Emerson said : "A man is what he thinks about 
all day long.” . . . How could he possibly be anything else? 

I now know with a conviction beyond all doubt tha t the 
biggest problem you and I have to deal with— in fact, almost 
the only problem we have to deal with — -is choosing the right 
thoughts. If we can do that, we will be on the highroad to 
solving all our problems. The great philosopher who ruled 
the Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius, summed it up in eight 
words — eight words that can determine your destiny: “ Our life 
is what ow thoughts make ft." 

Yes, if we think happy thoughts, we will be happy. If we 
think miserable thoughts, we will be miserable. If we think 
fear thoughts, we will be fearful. If we think sickly thoughts, 
we will probably be ill. If we think failure, we will certainly 
fail. If we wallow in self-pity, everyone will want to shun us 
and avoid us. “You are not,” said Norman Vincent Peale, 
“you axe not what you think you are; but what you think, 
you are.” 

Am I advocating an habitual Pollyanna attitude toward all 
our problems? No, unfortunately, life isn’t so simple as all 
that. But I am advocating that we assume a positive attitude 



instead of a negative attitude. In other words, we need to be 
concerned about our problems, but not worried. What is the 
difference between concern and worry? Let me illustrate. Every 
time I cross the traffic- jammed streets of New York, I am con- 
cerned about what I am doing — but not worried. Concern 
means realising what the problems are and calmly taking steps 
to meet them. Worrying means going around in maddening, 
futile circles. 

A man can be concerned about his serious problems and still 
walk with his chin up and a carnation in his buttonhole. I 
have seen Lowell Thomas do just that. I once had the privilege 
of being associated with Lowell Thomas in presenting his 
famous films on the Allenby-Lawrence campaigns in World 
War I. He and his assistants had photographed the war on 
half a dozen fronts; and, best of all, had brought back a pic- 
torial record of T. E. Lawrence and his colourful Arabian army, 
and a film record of Allenby’s conquest of the Holy Land. His 
illustrated talks entitled "With Allenby in Palestine and 
Lawrence in Arabia" were a sensation in London — and around 
the world. The London opera season was postponed for six 
weeks so that he could continue telling his tale of high adventure 
and showing his pictures at Covent Garden Royal Opera House. 
After his sensational success in London came a triumphant tour 
of many countries. Then he spent two years preparing a film 
record of life in India and Afghanistan. After a lot of incredibly 
bad luck, the impossible happened: he found himself broke 
in London. I was with him at the time. I remember we had 
to eat cheap meals at cheap restaurants. We couldn't have 
eaten even there if we had not borrowed money from a Scots- 
man — James McBey, the renowned artist. Here is the point of 
the story: even when Lowell Thomas ^as facing huge debts 
and severe disappointments, he was concerned, but not worried. 
He knew that if he let his reverses get him down, he would be 
worthless to everyone, including his creditors. So each morn- 
ing before he started out, he bought a flower, put it in his 
buttonhole, and went swinging down Oxford Street with his 
head high and his step spirited. He thought positive, 
courageous thoughts and refused to let defeat defeat him. To 


him, being licked was all part of the game — the useful training 
you had to expect if you wanted to get to the top. 

Our mental attitude has an almost unbelievable effect even 
on our physical powers. The famous British psychiatrist, J. A. 
Hadfield, gives a striking illustration of that fact in his splendid 
book, The Psychology of Power. “1 asked three men," he 
writes, "to submit themselves to test the effect of mental 
suggestion on their strength, which was measured by gripping 
a dynamometer." He told them to grip the dynamometer with 
all their might. He had them do this under three different sets 
of conditions. 

When he tested them under normal waking conditions, their 
average grip was ioi pounds. 

When he tested them after he had hypnotised them and told 
them that they were very weak, they could grip only 29 pounds 
— less than a third of their normal strength. (One of these 
men was a prize fighter; and when he was told under hypnosis 
that he was weak, he remarked that his arm felt "tiny, just 
like a baby's.") 

When Captain Hadfield then tested these men a third time, 
telling them under hypnosis that they were very strong, they 
were able to grip an average of 142 pounds. When their minds 
were filled with positive thoughts of strength, they increased 
their actual physical powers almost five hundred per cent. 

Such is the incredible power of our mental attitude. 

To illustrate the magic power of thought, let me tell you one 
of the most astounding stories in the annals of America. I could 
write a book about it; but let’s be brief. On a frosty October 
night, shortly after the close of the Civil War, a homeless, 
destitute woman, who was little more than a wanderer on 
the face of the earth, knocked at the door of "Mother" Webster, 
the wife of a retired sea captain, living in Amesbury, 

Opening the door, "Mother" Webster saw a frail little 
creature, "scarcely more than a hundred pounds of frightened 
skin and bones." The stranger, a Mrs. Glover, explained she 
was seeking a home where she could think and work out a great 
problem that absorbed her day and night. 



“Why not stay here?" Mrs. Webster replied. “I'm all alone 
in this big house." 

Mrs. Glover might have remained indefinitely with “Mother" 
Webster, if the latter's son-in-law, Bill Ellis, hadn't come up 
from New York for a vacation. When he discovered Mrs. 
Glover's presence, he shouted: “I'll have no vagabonds in this 
house"; and he shoved this homeless woman out of the door. 
A driving rain was falling. She stood shivering in the rain for 
a few minutes, and then started down the road, looking for 

Here is the astonishing part of the story. That “vagabond" 
whom Bill Ellis put out of the house was destined to have as 
much influence on the thinking of the world as any other 
woman who ever walked this earth. She is now known to 
millions of devoted followers as Mary Baker Eddy — the founder 
of Christian Science. 

Yet, until this time, she had known little in life except sick- 
ness, sorrow, and tragedy. Her first husband had died shortly 
after their marriage. Her second husband had deserted her 
and eloped with a married woman. He later died in a poor- 
house. She had only one child, a son; and she was forced, 
because of poverty, illness, and jealousy, to give him up when 
he was four years old. She lost all track of him and never 
saw him again for thirty-one years. 

Because of her own ill health, Mrs. Eddy had been interested 
for years in what she 'called “the science of mind healing". 
But the dramatic turning point in her life occurred in Lynn, 
Massachusetts. Walking downtown one cold day, she slipped 
and fell on the icy pavement — and was knocked unconscious. 
Her spine was so injured that she was convulsed with spasms. 
Even the doctor expected her to die. If by some miracle she 
lived, he declared that she would never walk again. 

Lying on what was supposed to be her deathbed, Mary 
Baker Eddy opened her Bible, and was led, she declared, by 
divine guidance to read these words from Saint Matthew: 
“And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, 
lying on a bed: and Jesus . . . said unto the sick of the palsy; 
Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. . . . Arise, 


take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and 
departed to his house." 

These words of J esus, she declared, produced within her such 
a strength, such a faith, such a surge of healing power, that she 
"immediately got out of bed and walked." 

"That experience," Mrs. Eddy declared, "was the falling 
apple that led me to the discovery of how to be well myself, 
and how to make others so. ... I gained the scientific 
certainty that all causation was Mind, and every effect a mental 

Such was the way in which Mary Baker Eddy became the 
founder and high priestess of a new religion : Christian Science 
— the only great religious faith ever established by a woman — 
a religion that has encircled the globe. 

You are probably saying to yourself by now: "This m?m 
Carnegie is proselytising for Christian Science." No. You are 
wrong. I am not a Christian Scientist. But the longer I live, 
the more deeply I am convinced of the tremendous power of 
thought. As a result of thirty-five years spent in teaching 
adults, I know men and women can banish worry, fear, and 
various kinds of illnesses, and can transform their lives by 
changing their thoughts. I know! I know! ! I know! I ! I 
have seen such incredible transformations performed hundreds 
of times. I have seen them so often that I no longer wonder 
at them. 

For example, one of these transformations happened to one 
of my students, Frank J. Whaley, of 1469 West Idaho Street, 
Saint Paul, Minnesota. He had a nervous breakdown. What 
brought it on? Worry. Frank Whaley tells me, "I worried 
about everything: I worried because I was too thin; because 
I thought I was losing any hair; because I feared I would never 
make enough money to get married; because I felt I would 
never make a good father; because I feared I was losing the 
girl I wanted to marry; because I felt I was not living a good 
life. I worried about the impression I was making on other 
people. I worried because I thought I had stomach ulcers. 

I could no longer work; I gave up my job. I built up tension 
inside me until I was like a boiler without a safety valve. The 


pressure got so unbearable that something had to give — and 
it did. If you have never had a nervous breakdown, pray God 
that you never do, for no pain of the body can exceed the 
excruciating pain of an agonised mind. 

"My breakdown was so severe that I couldn't talk even to 
my own family. I had no control over my thoughts. I was 
filled with fear. I would jump at the slightest noise. I avoided 
everybody. I would break out crying for no apparent reason 
at all. 

"Every day was one of agony. I felt that I was deserted by 
everybody — even God. I was tempted to jump into the river 
and end it all. 

"I decided instead to take a trip to Florida, hoping that a 
change of scene would help me. As I stepped on the train, 
my father handed me a letter and told me not to open it until 
I reached Florida. I landed in Florida during the height of 
the tourist season. Since I couldn't get in a hotel, I rented a 
sleeping room in a garage. I tried to get a job on a tramp 
freighter out of Miami, but had no luck. So I spent my time 
at the beach. I was more wretched in Florida than I had been 
at home; so I opened the envelope to see what Dad had written. 
His note said, 'Son, you are 1,500 miles from home, and you 
don't feel any different, do you? I knew you wouldn't, because 
you took with you the one thing that is the cause of all your 
trouble, that is, yourself. There is nothing wrong with either 
your body or your mind. It is not the situations you have met 
that have thrown you; it -is what you think of these situations. 
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." When you realise - 
that, son, come home, for you will be cured.' 

"Dad's letter made me angry. I was looking for sympathy, 
not instruction. I was so mad that I decided then and there 
that I would never go home. That night as I was walking down 
one of the side streets of Miami, I came to a church where 
services were going on. Having no place to go, I drifted in * 
and listened to a sermon on the text: 'He who conquers his 
spirit is mightier than he who taketh a city/ Sitting in the 
sanctity of the house of God and hearing the same thoughts 
that my Dad had written in his letter — all this swept the 


accumulated litter out of my brain. I was able to tliink clearly 
and sensibly for the first time in my life. I realised what a fool 
I had been. I was shocked to see myself in my true light : here 
I was, wanting to change the whole world and everyone in it — 
when the only thing that needed changing was the focus of the 
lens of the camera which was my mind. 

'‘The next morning I packed and started home. A week later 
I was back* on the job. Four months later I married the girl 
I had been afraid of losing. We now have a happy family of 
five children. God has been good to me both materially and 
mentally. At the time of the breakdown I was a night fore- 
man of a small department handling eighteen people. I am 
now superintendent of carton manufacture in charge of over 
four hundred and fifty people. Life is much fuller and 
friendlier. I believe I appreciate the true values of life now. 
When moments of uneasiness try to creep in (as they will in 
everyone's life) I tell myself to get that camera back in focus, 
and everything is O.K. 

"I can honestly say that I am glad I had the breakdown, 
because I found out the hard way what power our thoughts 
can have over our mind and our body. Now I can make my 
thoughts work for me instead of against me. I can see now 
that Dad was right when he said it wasn't outward situations 
that had caused all my suffering, but what I thought of those 
situations. And as soon as I realised that, I was cured — and 
stayed cured." Such was the experience of Frank J. Whaley. 

I am deeply convinced that our peace of mind and the joy 
we get out of living depends not on where we are, or what 
we have, or who we are, but solely upon our mental attitude. 
Outward conditions have very little to do with it. For example, 
let's take the case of pld John Brown, who was hanged for 
seizing the United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry and hying 
to incite the slaves to rebellion. He rode away to the gallows, 
sitting on his coffin. The jailer who rode beside him was 
nervous and worried. But old John Brown was calm and cool. 
Looking up at the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, he 
exclaimed, "What a beautiful country I I never had an oppor- 
tunity to really see it before." 


Or take the case of Robert Falcon Scott and his companions — 
the first Englishmen ever to reach the South Pole. Their return 
trip was probably the cruellest journey ever undertaken by 
man. Their food was gone — and so was their fuel. They could 
no longer inarch because a howling blizzard roared down over 
the rim of the earth for eleven days and nights — a wind so 
fierce and sharp that it cut ridges in the polar ice. Scott and 
his companions knew they were going to die; and they had 
brought a quantity of opium along for just such an emergency. 
A big dose of opium, and they could all lie down to pleasant 
dreams, never to wake again. But they ignored the drug, and 
died "singing ringing songs of cheer". We know they did 
because of a farewell letter found with their frozen bodies by a 
searching party, eight months later. 

Yes, if we cherish creative thoughts of courage and calmness, 
we can enjoy the scenery while sitting on our coffin, riding 
to the gallows; or we can fill our tents with "ringing songs 
of cheer," while starving and freezing to death. 

Milton in his blindness discovered that same truth three 
hundred years ago: 

The mind is its own place, and in itself 
Cm make a heaven of HeU , a hell of Heaven. 

Napoleon and Helen Keller are perfect illustrations of 
Milton's statement: Napoleon had everything men usually 
crave — glory, power, riches — yet he said at St. Helena, "I have 
never known six happy days in my life"; while Helen Keller — 
blind, deaf, dumb-declared: "I have found life so beautiful." 

If half a century of living has taught me anything at all, it 
has taught me that "Nothing can bring you peace but your- 

I am merely trying to repeat what Emerson said so well in 
the closing words of his essay on "Self-Reliance" : "A political 
victory', a rise in rents, the recovery of your sick, or the return 
of your absent friend, or some other quite external event, raises 
your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you. 
Do not believe it. It can never be so. Nothing can bring you 
peace but yourself." 


Epictetus, the great Stoic philosopher, warned that we ought 
to be more concerned about removing wrong thoughts from the 
mind than about removing “tumours and abscesses from the 

Epictetus said that nineteen centuries ago, but modem 
medicine would back him up. Dr. G. Canby Robinson declared 
that four out of five patients admitted to Johns Hopkins 
Hospital were suffering from conditions brought on in part by 
emotional strains and stresses. This was often true even in cases 
of organic disturbances. “Eventually,” he declared, “these 
trace back to maladjustments to life and its problems.” 

Montaigne, the great French philosopher, adopted these 
seventeen words as the motto of his life: “A man is not hurt 
so much by what happens, as by his opinion of what happens.” 
And our opinion of what happens is entirely up to us. 

What do I mean? Have I the colossal effrontery to tell you 
to your face — when you are mowed down by troubles, and 
your nerves are sticking out like wires and curling up at the 
ends — have I the colossal effrontery to tell you that, under those 
conditions, you can change your mental attitude by an effort of 
will? Yes, I mean precisely that! And that is not all. I am 
going to show you how to do it. It may take a little effort, but 
the secret is simple. 

William James, who has never been topped in his knowledge 
of practical physchology, once made this observation : “ Action 
seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; 
and by regulating the action , which is under the more direct 
control of the will . we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which 
is notr 

In other words, William James tells us that we cannot in- 
stantly change our emotions just by “making up our minds 
to” — but that we can change our actions. And that when we 
change our actions, we will automatically change our feelings. 

"Thus,” he explains, "The sovereign voluntary path to cheer - 
fulness , if your cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully and 
to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there ” 

Does that simple trick work? It works like plastic surgery! 
Try it yourself. Put a big, broad, honest-to-God smile on 


your face; throw back your shoulders; take a good, deep breath; 
and sing a snatch of song. If you can't sing, whistle. If you 
can't whistle, hum. You will quickly discover what William 
James was talking about — that it is physically impossible to 
remain blue or depressed while you are acting out the symptoms 
of being radiantly happy ! 

This is one of the little basic truths of nature that can easily 
work miracles in all our lives. I know a woman in California — 
I won't mention her name — who could wipe out all of her 
miseries in twenty-four hours if only she knew this secret. She's 
old, and she's a widow — that’s sad, I admit — but does she try 
to act happy? No; if you ask her how she is feeling, she says, 
“Oh, I'm all right" — but the expression on her face and the 
whine in her voice say, “Oh, God, if you only knew the troubles 
I've seen!" She seems to reproach you for being happy in 
her presence. Hundreds of women are worse oh than she is: 
her husband left her enough insurance to last the rest of her 
life, and she has married children to give her a home. But 
I've rarely seen her smile. She complains that all three of her 
sons-in-law are stingy and selfish — although she is a guest in 
their homes for months at a time. And she complains that 
her daughters never give her presents — although she hoards 
her own money carefully, “for my old age." She is a blight 
on herself and her unfortunate family I But does it have to be 
so? That is the pity of it — she could change herself from a 
miserable, bitter, and unhappy old woman into an honoured 
and beloved member of the family — if she wanted to change. 
And all she would have to do to work this transforma- 
tion would be to start acting cheerful; start acting as though 
she had a little love to give away — instead of squandering it all 
on her own unhappy and embittered self. 

I know a man in Indiana — H. J. Englert, of 1335 nth Street, 
Tell City, Indiana — who is still alive today because he 
discovered this secret. Ten years ago Mr. Englert had a case of 
scarlet fever; and when he recovered, he found he had 
developed nephritis, a kidney disease. He tried all kinds of 
doctors, “even quacks," he informs me, but nothing could cure 


Then, a short time ago, he got other complications. His 
blood-pressure soared. He went to a doctor, and was told that 
his blood-pressure was hitting the top at 214. He was told that 
it was fatal — that the condition was progressive, and he had 
better put his affairs in order at once. 

"I went home," he says, "and made sure that my insurance 
was all paid up, then I apologised to my Maker for all my 
mistakes, and settled down to gloomy meditations. 

"I made everyone unhappy. My wife and family were miser- 
able, and I was buried deep in depression myself. However, 
after a week of wallowing in self-pity, I said to myself, 'You’re 
acting like a fool I You may not die for a year yet, so why 
not try to be happy while you’re here?’ 

"I threw back my shoulders, put a smile on my face, and 
attempted to act as though everything were normal. I admit 
it was an effort at first — but I forced myself to be pleasant 
and cheerful; and this not only helped my family, but it also 
helped me. 

"The first thing I knew, I began to feel better — almost as 
well as I pretended to feel! The improvement went on. And 
today — months after I was supposed to be in my grave — I am 
not only happy, well, and alive, but my blood-pressure is 
down I I know one thing for certain : the doctor’s prediction 
would certainly have come true if I had gone on thinking 
'dying’ thoughts of defeat. But I gave my body a chance to 
heal itself, by nothing in the world but a change of mental 

Let me ask you a question: If merely acting cheerful and 
thinking positive thoughts of health and courage can save this 
man’s life, why should you and I tolerate for one minute more 
our minor glooms and, depressions? Why make ourselves, and 
everyone around us, unhappy and blue, when it is possible for 
us to start creating happiness by merely acting cheerful? 

Years ago, I read a little book that had a lasting and profound 
effect on my life. It was called As a Man Thinketh* by James 
Lane Allen, and here’s what it said: 

"A man will find that as he alters his thoughts towards things 
and other people, things and other people will alter towards 

* Fowler & Co. Ltd. 


him. . . . Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will 
be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the 
material conditions of his life. Men do not attract that which 
they want, but that which they are. . . . The divinity that 
shapes our ends is in ourselves. It is our very self. ... All 
that a man achieves is the direct result of his own thoughts. 
... A man can only rise, conquer and achieve by lifting up 
his thoughts. He can only remain weak and abject and miser- 
able by refusing to lift up his thoughts." 

According to the book of Genesis, the Creator gave man 
dominion over the whole wide earth. A mighty big present. 
But I am not interested in any such super-royal prerogatives. 
All I desire is dominion over myself — dominion over my 
thoughts; dominion over my fears; dominion over my mind and 
over my spirit. And the wonderful thing is that I know that 
I can attain this dominion to an astonishing degree, any time 
I want to, by merely controlling my actions — which in turn 
control my reactions. 

So let us remember these words of William James: " Much 
of what we call Evil . . . can often be converted into a bracing 
and tonic good by a simple change of the sufferer's inner 
attitude from one of fear to one of fight/' 

Let's fight for our happiness 1 

Let's fight for our happiness by following a daily programme 
of cheerful and constructive thinking. Here is such a pro- 
gramme. It is entitled "Just for Today". I found this 
programme so inspiring that I gave away hundreds of copies. 
It was written thirty-six years ago by the late Sibyl F. Partridge. 
If you and I follow it, we will eliminate most of our worries 
and increase immeasurably our portion of what the French call 
la joie de vivre . 



1. Just for today I will be happy. This assumes that what 
Abraham Lincoln said is true, that "most folks are about 
as happy as they make up their minds to be." Happiness 
is from within; it is not a matter of externals. 

2 . ; Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is, and 

not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take 
my family, my business, and my luck as they come and 
fit myself to them. 

3. Just for today I will take care of my body. I will exercise 
it, care for it, nourish it, not abuse it nor neglect it, so that 
it will be a perfect machine for my bidding. 

4. Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will 
leam something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I 
will read something that requires effort, thought and con- 

5. Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways; I will 
do somebody a good turn and not get found out. I will 
do at least two things I don't want to do, as William James 
suggests, just for exercise. 

6. Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as 
I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act 
courteously, be liberal with praise, criticise not at all, nor 
find fault with anything and not try to regulate nor improve 

7. Just for today I will try to live through this day only, not 
to tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do things 
for twelve hours that would appall me if I had to keep them 
up for a lifetime. 

8. Just for today I will have a programme. I will write down 
what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, 
but I will have it. It will eliminate two pests, hurry and 


9. Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself , 
and relax. In this half-hour sometimes I will think of God, 
so as to get a little more perspective into my life. 

To. Just for today I will be unafraid, especially I will not be 
afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and 
to believe that those I love, love me. 

If we want to develop a mental attitude that will bring m 
peace and happiness, here is Rule 1: 

Think and act cheerfully, and yon will feel cheerful* 



chapter 1 3 : The High Cost of Getting Even 

One night, years ago, as I was travelling through Yellowstone 
Park, I sat with other tourists on bleachers facing a dense 
growth of pine and spruce. Presently the animal which we had 
been waiting to see, the terror of the forests, the grizzly bear, 
strode out into the glare of the lights and began devouring the 
garbage that had been dumped there from the kitchen of one 
of the park hotels.. A forest ranger. Major Martindale, sat on 
a horse and talked to the excited tourists about bears. He told 
us that the grizzly bear can whip any other animal in the 
Western world, with the possible exception of the buffalo and 
the Kadiak bear; yet I noticed that night that there was one 
animal, and only one, that the grizzly permitted to come out 
of the forest and eat with him under the glare of the lights: 
a skunk. The grizzly knew that he could liquidate a skunk with 
one swipe of his mighty paw. Why didn’t he do it? Because 
he had found from experience that it didn’t pay. 

I found that out, too. As a farm boy, I trapped four-legged 
skunks along the hedgerows in Missouri; and, as a man, I 
encountered a few two-legged skunks on the sidewalks of New 
York. I have found from sad experience that it doesn’t pay 
to stir up either variety. 

When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over 
us; power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood-pressure, 
our health, and our happiness. Our enemies would dance with 
joy if only they knew how they were worrying us, lacerating us, 
and getting even with us l Our hate is not hurting them, but 
our hate is turning our own days and nights into a hellish 

Who do you suppose said this: "If selfish people try to take 
advantage of you, cross them off your list, but don't try to 
get even. When you try to get even, you hurt yourself more 



than you hurt the other fellow"? . . . Those words sound as 
if they might have been uttered by some starry-eyed idealist. 
But they weren't* Those words appeared in a bulletin issued 
by the Police Department of Milwaukee. 

How will trying to get even hurt you? In many ways. 
According to Life magazine, it may even wreck your health. 
"The chief personality characteristic of persons with hyper- 
tension [high Wood-pressure] is resentment," said Life. "When 
resentment is chronic, chronic hypertension and heart trouble 

So you see that when Jesus said, "Love your enemies", He 
was not only preaching sound ethics. He was also preaching 
twentieth-century medicine. When He said, "Forgive seventy 
times seven", Jesus was telling you and me how to keep from 
having high blood pressure, heart trouble, stomach ulcers, and 
many other ailments. 

A friend of mine recently had a serious heart attack. Her 
physician put her to bed and ordered her to refuse to get angry 
about anything, no matter what happened. Physicians know 
that if you have a weak heart, a fit of anger can kill you. Did 
I say can kill you? A fit of anger did kill a restaurant 
owner in Spokane, Washington, a few years ago. I have in front 
of me now a letter from Jerry Swartout, chief of the police 
department, Spokane, Washington, saying: "A few years ago, 
William Falkaber, a man of sixty-eight who owned a caf6 here 
in Spokane, killed himself by flying into a rage because his 
cook insisted on drinking coffee out of his saucer. The caf6 
owner was so indignant that he grabbed a revolver and started 
to chase the cook and fell dead from heart failure — with his 
hand still gripping the gun. The coroner's report declared that 
anger had caused the heart failure." r 

When Jesus said, "Love your enemies", He was also telling 
us how to improve our looks. I know women — and so do you 
— whose faces have been wrinkled and hardened by hate and 
disfigured by resentment. All the beauty treatments in Christen- 
dom won't improve their looks half so much as would a heart 
full of forgiveness, tenderness, and love. 

Hatred destroys our ability to enjoy even our food. The Bible 


puts it this way “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than 
a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” 

Wouldn't our enemies rub their hands with glee if they knew 
that our hate for them was exhausting us, making us tired and 
nervous, ruining our looks, giving us heart trouble, and prob- 
ably shortening our lives? 

Even if we can't love our enemies, let's at least love our- 
selves. Let’s love ourselves so much that we won’t permit our 
enemies to control our happiness, our health and our looks. As 
Shakespeare put it: 

Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot 
That it do singe yourself. 

When Jesus said that we should forgive our enemies “seventy 
times seven”. He was also preaching sound business. For ex- 
ample, I have before me as I write a letter I received from 
George Rona, Fradegata’n 24, Uppsala, Sweden. For years, 
George Rona was an attorney in Vienna; but during the Second 
World War, he fled to Sweden. He had no money, needed work 
badly. Since he could speak and write several languages, he 
hoped to get a position as correspondent for some firm engaged 
in importing or exporting. Most of the firms replied that they 
had no need of such services because of the war, but they would 
keep his name on file . • - and so on. One man, however, wrote 
George Rona a letter saying: “What you imagine about my 
business is not true. You are both wrong and foolish. I do not 
need any correspondent. Even if I did need one, I wouldn’t 
hire you because you can’t even write good Swedish. Your 
letter is full of mistakes.” 

When George Rona read that letter, he was as mad as Donald 
Duck. What did this Swede mean by telling him he couldn’t 
write the language I Why, the letter that this Swede had 

written was full of mistakes 1 So George Rona wrote a letter 
that was calculated to bum this man up. Then he paused. He 
said to himself, “Wait a minute, now. How do I know this 
man isn’t right? I have studied Swedish, but it’s not my native 
language, so maybe I do make mistakes I don’t know anything 


about. If I do, then I certainly have to study harder if I ever 
hope to get a job. This man has possibly done me a favour, 
even though he didn't mean to. The mere fact that he expressed 
himself in disagreeable terms doesn't alter my debt to him. 
Therefore, I am going to write him and thank him for what he 
has done.” 

So George Rona tore up the scorching letter he had already 
written, and wrote another that said: "It was kind of you to go 
to the trouble of writing to me, especially when you do not need 
a correspondent., I am sorry I was mistaken about your firm. 
The reason that I wrote you was that I made inquiry and your 
name was given me as a leader in your field. I did not know 
I had made grammatical errors in my letter. I am sorry and 
ashamed of myself. I will now apply myself more diligently to 
the study of the Swedish language and try to correct my mis- 
takes. I want to thank you for helping me get started on the 
road to self -improvement . ' ' 

Within a few days, George Rona got a letter from this man, 
asking Rona to come to see him. Rona went — and got a job. 
George Rona discovered for himself that "a soft answer tumeth 
away wrath." 

We may not be saintly enough to love our enemies , but, far 
the sake of our own health and happiness, let's at least forgive 
them and forget them . That is the smart thing to do. "To be 
wronged or robbed," said Confucius, "is nothing unless you 
continue to remember it." I once asked General Eisenhower's 
son, John, if his father ever nourished resentments. "No," he 
replied, "Dad never wastes a minute thinking about people he 
doesn't like." 

There is an old saying that aTnan is a fool who can't be 4 , 
angry, but a man is wise who won't be angry. 

That was the policy of William J. Gaynor, former Mayor of 
New York. Bitterly denounced by the yellow press, he was 
shot by a maniac and almost killed. As he lay in the hospital, 
fighting for his life, he said : "Every night, I forgive everything 
and everybody." Is that too idealistic? Too much sweetness 
and light? If so, let's turn for counsel to the great German 
philosopher, Schopenhauer, author of Studies in Pessimism . 


He regarded life as a futile and painful adventure. Gloom 
dripped from him as he walked; yet out of the depths of his 
despair, Schopenhauer cried: "If possible, no animosity should 
be felt for anyone." 

I once asked Bernard Baruch — the man who was the trusted 
adviser to six Presidents: Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, 
Roosevelt, and Truman — whether he was ever disturbed by 
the attacks of his enemies." No man can humiliate me or dis- 
turb me," he replied. "I won't let him." 

No one can humiliate or disturb you and me, either — unless 
me let him . 

Sticks and stones may break my bones , 

But words can never hurt me. 

"Throughout the ages mankind has burned its candles before 
those Christlike individuals who bore no malice against their 
enemies. I have often stood in the Jasper National Park, in 
Canada, and gazed upon one of the most beautiful mountains 
in the Western world — a mountain named in honour of Edith 
CaveJl, the British nurse who went to her death like a saint 
before a German firing squad on October 12, 1915. Her crime? 
She had hidden and fed and nursed wounded French and 
English soldiers in her Belgian home, and had helped them 
escape into Holland. As the English chaplain entered her cell 
in the military prison in Brussels that October morning, to pre- 
pare her for death, Edith Cavell uttered two sentences that have 
been preserved in bronze and granite; "I realise that patriotism 
is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness toward 
anyone." Four years later, her body was removed to England 
and memorial services were held in Westminster Abbey. Today, 
a granite statue stands opposite the National Portrait Gallery in 
London — a statue of one of England's immortals. "I realise 
that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitter- 
ness toward anyone." 

One sure way to forgive and forget our enemies is to become 
absorbed in some cause infinitely bigger than ourselves. Then 
the insults and the enmities we encounter won't matter because 


we will be oblivious of everything but our cause . As an ex- 
ample, let's take an intensely dramatic event that was about to 
take place in the pine woods of Mississippi back in 1918. A 
lynching ! Laurence Jones, a coloured teacher and preacher, 
was about to be lynched. A few years ago, I visited the school 
that Laurence Jones founded — the Piney Woods Country School 
— and I spoke before the student body. That school is nation- 
ally known today, but the incident I am going to relate occurred 
long before that. It occurred back in the highly emotional days 
of the First World War. A rumour had spread through central 
Mississippi that the Germans were arousing the negroes and 
inciting them to rebellion. Laurence Jones, the man who was 
about to be lynched, was, as I have already said, a negro him- 
self and was accused of helping to arouse his race to insurrec- 
tion. A group of white men — pausing outside the church — had 
heard Laurence Jones shouting to his congregation: “Life is a 
battle in which every negro must gird on his armour and fight 
to survive and succeed." 

“Fight l" “Armour!" Enough! Galloping off into the night, 
these excited young men recruited a mob, returned to the 
church, put a rope round the preacher, dragged him for a mile 
up the road, stood him on a heap of faggots, lighted matches, 
and were ready to hang him and bum him at the same time, 
when someone shouted: “Let's make the blankety-blank-blank 
talk before he bums. Speech! Speech!" Laurence Jones, 
standing on the faggots, spoke with a rope around his neck, 
spoke for his life and his cause . He had been graduated from 
the University of Iowa in 1907. His sterling character, his 
scholarship and his musical ability had made him popular with 
both the students and the faculty. Upon graduation, he had 
turned down the offer of a hotel man to set him up in business, 
and had turned down the offer of a wealthy man to finance his 
musical education. Why? Because he was on fire with a 
vision. Reading the story of Booker T. Washington's life, he 
had been inspired to devote his own life to educating the 
poverty-stricken, illiterate members of his race. So he went to 
the most backward belt he could find in the South — a spot 
twenty-five miles south of Jackson, Mississippi. Pawning his 


watch for $1.65, he started his school in the open woods with 
a stump for a desk. Laurence Jones told these angry men who 
were waiting to lynch him of the struggle he had had to educate 
these unschooled boys and girls and to train them to be good 
farmers, mechanics, cooks, housekeepers. He told ot the white 
men who had helped him in his struggle to establish Piaey 
Woods Country School — white men who had given him land, 
lumber, and pigs, cows and money, to help him carry on his 
educational work. 

When Laurence Jones was asked afterward if he didn't hate 
the men who had dragged him up the road to hang him and 
burn him, he replied that he was too busy with his cause to 
hate — too absorbed in something bigger than himself . "I have 
no time to quarrel/' he said* “no thne for regrets , and no man 
cm force me to stoop lorn enough to hate him / 9 

As Laurence Jones talked with sincere and moving eloquence 
as he pleaded, not for himself but his cause, the mob began to 
soften. Finally, an old Confederate veteran in the crowd said : 
“I believe this boy is telling the truth. I know the white men 
whose names he has mentioned. He is doing a fine work. We 
have made a mistake. We ought to help him instead of hang 
him.” The Confederate veteran passed his hat through the 
crowd and raised a gift of fifty-two dollars and forty cents from 
the very men who had gathered there to hang the founder of 
Piney Woods Country School — the man who said: “I have 
no time to quarrel, no time for regrets, and no man can force 
me to stoop low enough to hate him.” 

Epictetus pointed out nineteen centuries ago that we reap 
what we sow and that somehow fate almost always makes us 
pay for our malefactions. “In the long ran,” said Epictetus, 
“every man will pay the penalty for his own misdeeds. The 
man who remembers this will be angry with no one, indignant 
with no one, revile no one, blame no one, offend no one, hate 
no one.” 

Probably no other man in American history was ever more 
denounced and hated and double-crossed than Lincoln. Yet 
Lincoln, according to Herndon's classic biography, “never 
judged men by his like or dislike for them. If any given act 



was to be performed, he could understand that his enemy could 
do it just as well as anyone. If a man had maligned him or 
been guilty of personal ill-treatment, and was the fittest man 
for the place, Lincoln would give him that place, just as soon 
as he would give it to a friend. ... I do not think he ever 
removed a man because he was his enemy or because he dis- 
liked him.” 

Lincoln was denounced and insulted by some of the very men 
he had appointed to positions of high power — men like 
McClellan, Seward, Stanton, and Chase. Yet Lincoln believed, 
according to Herndon, his law partner, that “No man was to be 
eulogised for what he did; or censured for what he did or did 
not do,” because “all of us are the children of conditions, of 
circumstances, of environment, of education, of acquired habits 
and of heredity moulding men as they are and will for ever be.” 

Perhaps Lincoln was right. If you and I had inherited the 
same physical, mental, and emotional characteristics that our 
enemies have inherited, and if life had done to us what it has 
done to them, we would act exactly as they do. We couldn't 
possibly do anything else. As Clarence Harrow used to say: 
“To know all is to understand all, and this leaves no room for 
judgment and condemnation.” So instead of hating our 
enemies, let's pity them and thank God that life has not made 
us what they are. Instead of heaping condemnation and 
revenge upon our enemies, let's give them our under- 
standing, our sympathy, our help, our forgiveness, and our 

I was brought up in a family which read the Scriptures or 
repeated a verse from the Bible each night and then knelt down 
and said “family prayers”. I can still hear my father, in a 
lonely Missouri farmhouse, repeating* those words of Jesus — 
words that will continue to be repeated as long as man cherishes 
his ideals: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do 
good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite- 
fully use you, and persecute you.” 

My father tried to live those words of Jesus; and they gave 
him an inner peace that the captains and the kings of earth 
have often sought for in vain. 



To cultivate a mental attitude that will bring you peace and 
happiness, remember that Rule 2 is : 

Let’s never try to get even with our enemies* because if we do 
we will hurt ourselves far more than we hurt them. Let’s do as 
General Eisenhower does: let’s never waste a minute thinking 
about people we don’t like. 



chapter 14: If Ton Do This, You Will 
Never Worry about Ingratitude 

1 recently met a business man in Texas who was burned up 
with indignation. I was warned that he would tell me about 
it within fifteen minutes after I met him. He did. The incident 
he was angry about had occurred eleven months previously, but 
he was still burned up about it. He couldn't talk of anything 
else. He had given his thirty-four employees ten thousand 
dollars in Christmas bonuses — approximately three hundred 
dollars each — and no one had thanked him. “I am sorry/’ he 
complained bitterly, “that I ever gave them a penny!” 

“An angry man/’ said Confucius, “is always full of poison.” 
This man was so full of poison that I honestly pitied him. He 
was about sixty years old. Now, life-insurance companies 
figure that, on the average, we will live slightly more than 
two-thirds of the difference between our present age and eighty. 
So this man — if he was lucky — probably had about fourteen 
or fifteen years to live. Yet he had already wasted almost one 
of his few remaining years by his bitterness and resentment over 
an event that was past and gone. I pitied him. 

Instead of wallowing in resentment and self-pity, he might 
have asked himself why he didn’t get any appreciation. Maybe 
he had underpaid and overworked his employees. Maybe they 
considered a Christmas bonus not a gift, but something they 
had earned. Maybe he was so critical and unapproachable that 
no one dared or cared to thank him. Maybe they felt he gave 
the bonus because most of the profits were going for taxes, 

On die other hand, maybe the employees were selfish, mean, 
and ill-mannered. Maybe this. Maybe that. I don’t know any 
more about it than you do. But I do know that Dr. Samuel 



Johnson said: "Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation. You 
do not find it among gross people/' 

Here is the point I am trying to make: this man made the 
human and distressing mistake of expecting gratitude. He just 
didn't know human nature. 

If you saved a man's life, would you expect him to be 
grateful? You might — but Samuel Leibowitz, who was a 
famous criminal lawyer before he became a judge, saved 
seventy-eight men from going to the electric chair! How many 
of these men, do you suppose, stopped to thank Samuel 
Leibowitz, or ever took the trouble to send him a Christmas 
card? How many? Guess. . . . That's right — none. 

Christ healed ten lepers in one afternoon — but how many of 
those lepers even stopped to thank Him? Only one. Look it up 
in Saint Luke. When Christ turned around to His disciples 
and asked, "Where are the other nine? " they had all run away. 
Disappeared without thanks I Let me ask you a question : Why 
should you and I — or this business man in Texas — expect more 
thanks for our small favours than was given Jesus Christ? 

And when it comes to money matters! Well, that is even 
more hopeless. Charles Schwab told me that he had once saved 
a bank cashier who had speculated in the stock market with 
funds belonging to the bank. Schwab put up the money to save 
this man from going to the penitentiary. Was the cashier 
grateful? Oh, yes, for a little while. Then he turned against 
Schwab and reviled him and denounced him — the very man 
who had kept him out of jail ! 

If you gave one of your relatives a million dollars, would 
you expect him to be grateful? Andrew Carnegie did just that. 
But if Andrew Carnegie had come back from the grave a little 
while later, he would have been shocked to find this relative 
cursing him! Why? Because Old Andy had left 365 million 
dollars to public charities — and had "cut him off with one 
measly million/' as he put it. 

That's how it goes. Human nature has always been human 
nature — and it probably won't change in your lifetime. So 
why not accept it? Why not be as realistic about it as was old 
Marcus Aurelius, one of the wisest men who ever ruled the 


Roman Empire. He wrote in his diary one day: “I am going 
to meet people today who talk too much — people who are 
selfish, egotistical, ungrateful. But I won't be surprised or 
disturbed, for I couldn't imagine a world without such people." 

That makes sense, doesn't it? If you and I go around 
grumbling about ingratitude, who is to blame? Is it human 
nature — or is it our ignorance of human nature? Let's not 
expect gratitude. Then, if we get some occasionally, it will 
come as a delightful surprise. If we don't get it, we won't be 

Here is the first point I am trying to make in this chapter : 
It is natural for people to forget to be grateful; so, if me go 
around expecting gratitude, me are headed straight for a lot of 
heartaches . 

I know a woman in New York who is always complaining 
because she is lonely.. Not one of her relatives wants to go near 
her — and no wonder. If you visit her, she will tell you for hours 
what she did for her nieces when they were children : she nursed 
them through the measles and the mumps and the whooping- 
cough; she boarded them for years; she helped to send one of 
them through business school, and she made a home for the 
other until she got married. 

Do the nieces come to see her? Oh, yes, now and then, out 
of a spirit of duty. But they dread these visits. They know 
they will have to sit and listen for hours to half-veiled 
reproaches. They will be treated to an endless litany of bitter 
complaints and self-pitying sighs. And when this woman can 
no longer bludgeon, browbeat, or bully her nieces info coming 
to see her, she has one of her "spells". She develops a heart 

Is the heart attack real? Oh, yes. The doctors say she has 
"a nervous heart", suffers from palpitations. But the doctors 
also say they can do nothing for her — her trouble is emotional. 

What this woman really wants is love and attention. But she 
calls it "gratitude". And she will never get gratitude or love, 
because she demands it. She thinks it's her due. 

There are thousands of women like her, women who are ill 


from “ingratitude”, loneliness, and neglect. They long to be 
loved; but the only way in this world that they can ever hope 
to be loved is to stop asking for it and to start pouring out 
love without hope of return. 

Does that sound like sheer, impractical, visionary idealism? 
It isn't. It is just horse sense. It is a good way for you and me 
to find the happiness we long for. I know. I have seen it 
happen right in my own family. My own mother and father 
gave for the joy of helping others. We were poor — always 
overwhelmed by debts. Yet, poor as we were, my father and 
mother always managed to send mojney every year to an 
orphans' home — the Christian Home in Council Bluffs, Iowa. 
Mother and Father never visited that home. Probably no one 
thanked them for their gifts — except by letter — but they were 
richly repaid, for they had the joy of helping little children — 
without wishing for or expecting any gratitude in return. 

After I left home, I would always send Father and Mother 
a cheque at Christmas and urge them to indulge in a few 
luxuries for themselves. But they rarely did. When I came 
home a few days before Christinas, Father would tell me of 
the coal and groceries they had bought for some “widder 
woman” in town who had a lot of children and no money to 
buy food and fuel. What joy they got out of these gifts — the 
joy of giving without excepting anything whatever in return! 

I believe my father would almost have qualified for 
Aristotle's description of the ideal man — the man most worthy 
of being happy. “The ideal man,” said Aristotle, “takes joy 
in doing favours for others; but he feels ashamed to have others 
do favours for him. For it is a mark of superiority to confer a 
kindness; but it is a mark of inferiority to receive it.” 

Here is the second point I am trying to make in this chapter : 
If we want to find happiness, let's stop thinking about gratitude 
or ingratitude and give for the inner joy of giving. 

Parents have been tearing their hair about the ingratitude of 
children for ten thousand years. 

Even Shakepeare's King Lear cried out, “How sharper than 



a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child I" 

But why should children be thankful — unless we train them 
to be? Ingratitude is natural — like weeds. Gratitude is like 
a rose. It has to be fed and watered and cultivated and loved 
and protected. 

If our children are ungrateful, who Is to blame? Maybe we 
are. If we have never taught them to express gratitude to 
others, how can we expect them to be grateful to us? 

I know a man in Chicago who has cause to complain of the 
ingratitude of his stepsons. He slaved in a box factory, seldom 
earning more than forty dollars a week. He married a widow, 
and she persuaded him to borrow money and send her two 
grown sons to college. Out of his salary of forty dollars a week, 
he had to pay for food, rent, fuel, clothes, and also for the 
payments on his notes. He did this for four years, working 
like a coolie, and never complaining. 

Did he get any thanks? No; his wife took it all for granted — 
and so did her sons. They never imagined that they owed their 
stepfather anything — not even thanks! 

Who was to blame? The boys? Yes; but the mother was 
even more to blame. She thought it was a shame to burden 
their young lives with “a sense of obligation”. She didn't want 
her sons to "start out under debt”. So she never dreamed of 
saying : "What a prince your stepfather is to help you through 
college!” Instead, she took the attitude: "Oh, that's the least 
he can do.” 

She thought she was sparing her sons, but, in reality, she 
was sending them out into life with the dangerous idea that 
the world owed them a living. And it was a dangerous idea — 
for one of those sons tried to "borrow” from an employer, 
and ended up in jail! 

We must remember that our children are very much what we 
make them. For example, my mother's sister — Viola 
Alexander, of 144 West Minnehala Parkway, Minneapolis — is 
a shilling example of a woman who has never had cause to 
complain about the "ingratitude” of children. When I was a 
boy, Aunt Viola took her own mother into her home to love 
and take care of; and she did the same thing for her husband’s 


mother. I can still close my eyes and see those two old ladies 
sitting before the fire in Aunt Viola's farmhouse. Were they 
any "trouble 1 ' to Aunt Viola? Oh, often, I suppose. But you 
would never have guessed it from her attitude. She loved those 
old ladies — so she pampered them, and spoiled them, and made 
them feel at home. In addition, Aunt Viola had six children 
of her own; but it never occurred to her that she was doing 
anything especially noble, or deserved any halos for taking 
these old ladies into her home. To her, it was the natural thin g, 
the right thing, the thing she wanted to do. 

Where is Aunt Viola today? Well, she has now been a widow 
for twenty-odd years, and she has five grown-up children — 
five separate households — all clamouring to share her, and to 
have her come and live in their homes! Her children adore 
her; they never get enough of her. Out of "gratitude"? Non- 
sense! It is love — sheer love . Those children breathed in 
warmth and radiant human-kindness all during their child- 
hoods. Is it any wonder that, now that the situation is reversed, 
they give back love? 

So let us remember that to raise grateful children, we have to 
be grateful. Let us remember "little pitchers have big ears"— 
and watch what we say. To illustrate— the next time we are 
tempted to belittle someone's kindness in the presence cf our 
children, let's stop. Let's never say: "Look at these dish- 
cloths Cousin Sue sent for Christmas. She knit them herself. 
They didn't cost her a cent!" The remark may seem trivial 
to us — but the children are listening. So, instead, we had better 
say: "Look at the hours Cousin Sue spent making these for 
Christmas! Isn't she nice? Let's write her a thank-you noce 
right now." And our children may unconsciously absorb the 
habit of praise and appreciation. 

To avoid resentment and worry over ingratitude, here is 
Rule 3 : 

A * Instead of worrying about ingratitude, let’s expect it. Lei's 
remember that Jesus healed ten lepers in one day — and only one 
thanked Him. Why should we expect more gratitude than Jesus 



B. Let’s remember that the only way to find happiness is not ’to 
expect gratitude, but to give for the joy of giving. 

G. Let’s remember that gratitude is a “cultivated” trait; so 
if we want our children to be grateful, we must train them to be 




chapter 15: Would You Take a Million 
Dollars for What You Have? 

I have known Harold Abbott for years. He lives at 820 South 
Madison Avenue, Webb City, Missouri. He used to be my 
lecture manager. One day he and I met in Kansas City and 
he drove me down to my farm at Belton, Missouri. During that 
drive, I asked him how he kept from worrying; and he told me 
an inspiring story that I shall never forget. 

**l used to woriy a lot," he said, "but one spring day in 
1934, I was walking down West Dougherty Street in Webb 
City when I saw a sight that banished all my worries. It all 
happened in ten seconds, but during those ten seconds I learned 
more about how to live than I had learned in the previous ten 
years. For two years I had been running a grocery store in 
Webb City," Harold Abbott said, as he told me the story. 
"I had not only lost all my savings, but I had incurred debts 
that took me seven years to pay back. My grocery store had 
been closed the previous Saturday; and now I was going to the 
Merchants and Miners Bank to borrow money so I could go 
to Kansas City to look for a job. I walked like a beaten man. 
I had lost all my fight and faith. Then suddenly I saw coming 
down the street a man who had no legs. He was sitting on a 
little wooden platform equipped with wheels from roller skates. 
He propelled himself along the street with a block of wood in 
each hand. I met him 'just after he had crossed the street and 
was starting to lift himself up a few inches over the kerb to 
the sidewalk. As he tilted his little wooden platform to an 
angle, his eyes met mine. He greeted me with a grand smile. 
‘Good morning, sir. It is a fine morning, isn't it?' he said with 
spirit. As I stood looking at him, I realised how rich I was. 
I had two legs. I could walk. I felt ashamed of my self-pity. 
I said to myself if he can be happy, cheerful, and confident 



without legs, I certainly can with legs. I could already feel my 
chest lifting. I had intended to ask the Merchants and Miners 
Bank for only one hundred dollars. But now I had courage 
to ask for two hundred. I had intended to say t that 1 wanted 
to go to Kansas City to try to get a job. But now I announced 
confidently that I wanted to go to Kansas City to get a job. I 
got the loan; and I got the job. 

“I now have the following words pasted on my bathroom 
mirror, and I read them every morning as I shave : 

I had the blues because I had no shoes , 

Until upon the street, I met a mem who had no feet . 

I once asked Eddie Rickenbacker what was the biggest lesson 
he had learned from drifting about with his companions in 
life rafts for twenty-one days, hopelessly lost in the Pacific. 
‘The biggest lesson I learned from that experience/' he said, 
“was that if you have all the fresh water you want to drink 
and all the food you want to eat, you ought never to complain 
about anything/' 

Time ran an article about a sergeant who had been wounded 
on Guadalcanal. Hit in the throat by a shell fragment, this 
sergeant had had seven blood transfusions. Writing a note to 
his doctor, he asked: “Will I live?" The doctor replied: 
“Yes.” He wrote another note, asking: “Will I be able to 
talk?” Again the answer was yes. He then wrote another 
note, saying: “ Then what in hell am I worryitig about?” 

Why don't you stop right now and ask yourself: “What in 
the hell am I worrying about?” You will probably find that it 
is comparatively unimportant and insignificant. 

About ninety per cent of the things in our lives are right 
and about ten per cent are wrong. IP we want to be happy, 
all we have to do is to concentrate on the ninety per cent that 
are right and ignore the ten per cent that are wrong. If we 
want to be worried and bitter and have stomach ulcers, all we 
have to do is to concentrate on the ten per cent that are wrong 
and ignore the ninety per cent that are glorious. 

The words “Think and Thank” are inscribed in many of the 
Cromwellian churches of England. These words ought to be 


Inscribed in our hearts, too: “Think and Thank”. Think of 
all we have to be grateful for, and thank God for aT cur 
boons and bounties. 

Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels , was the most 
devastating pessimist in English literature. He was so sorry 
that he had been bom that he wore black and fasted on his 
birthdays: yet, in his despair, this supreme pessimist of English 
literature praised the great health-giving powers of cheerfulness 
and happiness. 'The best doctors in the world,” he declared, 
“are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.” 

You and I may have the services of “Doctor Merry-nan 7 ' 
free every hour of the day by keeping our attention fixed on 
all the incredible riches we possess — riches exceeding by far 
the fabled treasures of Ali Baba. Would you sell both your 
eyes for a billion dollars? What would you take for your two 
legs? Your hands? Your hearing? Your children? Your 
family? Add up your assets, and you will find that you won’t 
sell what you have for all the gold ever amassed by die Rocke- 
fellers, the Fords and the Morgans combined. 

But do we appreciate all this? Ah, no. As Schopenhauer 
said: “We seldom think of what we have but always of what 
we lack.” Yes, the tendency to “seldom think cl what we 
have but always of what we lack 7 7 is the greatest tragedy on 
earth. It has probably caused more misery than all the wars 
and diseases in history. 

It caused John Palmer to turn “from a regular guy into an 
old grouch 77 , and almost wrecked his home. I know because 
he told me so. 

Mr. Palmer lives at 30 19th Avenue, Paterson, New Jersey. 
“Shortly after I returned from the Army/ 7 he said, “7 started 
In business for myself. * I worked hard day and night. Things 
were going nicely. Then trouble started. I couldn't get parts 
and materials. I was afraid I would have to give up my 
business. I worried so much that I changed from a regular guy 
Into an old grouch. I became so sour and cross that — well, I 
didn't know it then; but I now realise that I came very near 
to losing my happy home. Then one day a young, disabled 
veteran who works for me said, * Johnny, you ought to be 


ashamed of yourself. You take on as if you were the only 
person in the world with troubles. Suppose you do have to 
shut up shop for a while — so what? You can start up again 
when things get normal. You've got a lot to be thankful for. 
Yet you are always growling. Boy, how I wish I were in your 
shoes 1 Look at me. I've got only one arm, and half of my 
face is shot away, and yet I am not complaining. If you don't 
stop your growling and grumbling, you will lose not only your 
business, but also your health, your home, and your friends ! ' 

'Those remarks stopped me dead in my tracks. They made 
me realise how well off I was. I resolved then and there that 
I would change and be my old self again — and I did." 

A friend of mine, Lucile Blake, had to tremble on the edge 
of tragedy before she learned to be happy about what she had 
instead of worrying over what she lacked. 

I met Lucile years ago, when we were both studying short- 
story writing in the Columbia University School of Journalism. 
Nine years ago, she got the shock of her life. She was living 
then in Tucson, Arizona. She had — well, here is the stoiy as 
she told it to me: 

"I had been living in a whirl: studying the organ at the 
University of Arizona, conducting a speech clinic in town, and 
teaching a class in musical appreciation at the Desert Willow 
Ranch, where I was staying. I was going in for parties, dances, 
horseback rides under the stars. One morning I collapsed. My 
heart! 'You will have to lie in bed for a year of complete 
rest/ the doctor said. He didn't encourage me to believe I 
would ever be strong again. 

"In bed for a year! To be an invalid — perhaps to die! I 
was terror-stricken I Why did all this have to happen to me? 
What had I done to deserve it? I wept and wailed. I was 
bitter and rebellious. But I did go to bed as the doctor advised. 
A neighbour of mine, Mr. Rudolf, an artist, said to me, 'You 
think now that spending a year in bed will be a tragedy. But 
it won't be. You will have time to think and get acquainted 
with yourself. You will make more spiritual growth in these 
next few months than you have made during all your previous 
life/ I became calmer, and tried to develop a new sense of 


values. I read books of inspiration. One day I heard a radio 
commentator say: 'You can express only what is in your own 
consciousness/ I had heard words like these many times 
before, but now they reached down inside me and took root. 
I resolved to think only the thoughts I wanted to live by: 
thoughts of joy, happiness, health. I forced myself each marr- 
ing, as soon as I awoke, to go over all the tilings I had to be 
grateful for. No pain. A lovely young daughter. My eyesight. 
My hearing. Lovely music on the radio. Time to read. Good 
food. Good friends. I was so cheerful and had so many visitors 
that the doctor put up a sign saying that only one visitor at a 
time would be allowed in my cabin — and only at certain hours. 

"Nine years have passed since then, and I now lead a full, 
active life. I am deeply grateful now for that year I spent in 
bed. It was the most valuable and the happiest year I spent in 
Arizona. The habit I formed then of counting my blessings each 
morning still remains with me. It is one of my most precious 
possessions. I am ashamed to realise that I never really learned 
to live until I feared I was going to die.” 

My dear Lucile Blake, you may net realise it, but you learned 
the same lesson that Dr. Samuel Johnson learned two hundred 
years ago. "The habit of looking on the best side of every 
event,” said Dr. Johnson, "is worth more than a thousand 
pounds a year/' 

Those words were uttered, mind you, not by a professional 
optimist, but by a man who had known anxiety, rags, and 
hunger for twenty 3'ears — and finally became one of the most 
eminent writers of his generation and the most celebrated con- 
versationalist of all time. 

Logan Pearsall Smith packed a lot of wisdom into a few 
words when he said: v There are two things to aim at in life: 
first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only 
the wisest of mankind achieve the second/' 

Would you like to know how to make even dishwashing at 
the kitchen sink a thrilling experience? If so, read an inspiring 
book of incredible courage by Borghild Dahl. It is called 
/ Wanted to See . 

This book was written by a woman who was practically blind 


for half a century. "I had only one eye/' she writes, “and it 
was so covered with dense scars that I had to do all my seeing 
through one small opening in the left of the eye. I could see 
a book only by holding it up close to my face and by straining 
my one eye as hard as I could to the left." 

But she refused to be pitied, refused to be considered 
“Afferent". As a child, she wanted to play hopscotch with 
other children, but she couldn’t see the markings. So after the 
other children had gone home, she got down on the ground and 
crawled along with her eyes near to the marks. She memorised 
every bit of the ground where she and her friends played and 
soon became an expert at running games. She did her reading 
at home, holding a book of large print so close to her eyes that 
her eyelashes brushed the pages. She earned two college 
degrees: an A.B. from the University of Minnesota and a 
Master of Arts from Columbia University. 

She started teaching in the tiny village of Twin Valley, Min- 
nesota, and rose until she became professor of journalism and 
literature at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 
She taught there for thirteen years, lecturing before women’s 
clubs and giving radio talks about books and authors. “In the 
back of my mind," she writes, “there had always lurked a fear 
of total blindness. In order to overcome this, I had adopted a 
cheerful, almost hilarious, attitude towards life." 

Then in 1943, when she was fifty-two years old, a miracle 
happened : an operation at the famous Mayo Clinic. She could 
now see forty times as well as she had ever been able to see 

A new and exciting world of loveliness opened before her. 
She now found it thrilling even to wash dishes in the kitchen 
sink. “I begin to play with the white «fluffy suds in the dish- 
pan," she writes. “I dip my hands into them and I pick up 
a ball of tiny soap bubbles. I hold them up against the light, 
and in each of them I can see the brilliant colours of a miniature 1 

As she looked through the window above the kitchen sink, 
she saw “the flapping grey-black wings of the sparrows flying: - 
through the thick, falling snow." 


She found such ecstasy looking at the soap bubbles a no 
sparrows that she closed her book with these words: u ‘Bey: 
Lord,’ I whisper, ‘Our Fattier in Heaven, I thank Thee. 1 
thank Thee.’ ” 

Imagine thanking God because you can wash dishes and =. i 
rainbows in bubbles and sparrows flying through the snow 1 

You and I ought to be ashamed of ourselves. All the days 
our years we have been living in a fairyland of beauty, but v? 
have been too blind to see, too satiated to enjoy. 

If we want to stop worrying and start living, Rule 4 is: 

Count your blessings— not your troubles! 



chapter 1 6 : Find Yourself and Be Yourself: 
Remember There Is No One Else on Earth 
Like You 

I have a letter from Mrs. Edith Allred, of Mount Airy, North 
Carolina: “As a child, I was extremely sensitive and shy/' 
she says in her letter. “I was always overweight and my cheeks 
made me look even fatter than I was. I had an old-fashioned 
mother who thought it was foolish to make clothes look pretty. 
She always said: ‘Wide will wear while narrow will tear'; and 
she dressed me accordingly. I never went to parties; never had 
any fun; and when I went to school, I never joined the other 
children in outside activities, not even athletics. I was morbidly 
shy. I felt I was ‘different' from everybody else, and entirely 

“When I grew up, I married a man who was several years 
my senior. But I didn't change. My in-laws were a poised 
and self-confident family. They were everything I should have 
been but simply was not. I tried my best to be like them, but 
I couldn't. Every attempt they made to draw me out of myself 
only drove me further into my shell. I became nervous and 
irritable. I avoided all friends. I got so bad I even dreaded 
the sound of the doorbell ringing! I was a failure. I knew 
it; and I was afraid my husband would find it out. So, when- 
ever we were in public, I tried to be gay, and overacted my 
part. I knew I overacted; and I would be miserable for days 
afterwards. At last I became so unhappy that I could see no 
point in prolonging my existence. I began to think of suicide." 

What happened to change this unhappy woman's life? Just 
a chance remark l , 

“A chance remark," Mrs. Allred continued, “transformed 
my whole life. My mother-in-law was talking one day of how 



she brought her children up, and she said, 'No matter what 
happened, I always insisted on their being themselves.’ . . . 
‘On being themselves/ . . . That remark is what did it! In 
a hash, I realised I had brought all this misery on myself by 
trying to fit myself into a pattern to which I did not conform. 

"I changed overnight 1 I started being myself. I tried to 
make a study of my own personality. Tried to find out w'hai 
I was . I studied my strong points. I learned all I could about 
colours and styles, and dressed in a way that I felt was 
becoming to me. I reached out to make friends. I Joined an 
organisation — a small one at first — and was petrified with fright 
when they put me on a programme. But each time I spoke, 
I gained a little courage. It took a long while — but today I have 
more happiness than I ever dreamed possible. In rearing my 
own children, I have always taught them the lesson I had to 
learn from such bitter experience: No matter what happens, 
always be yourself /" 

This problem of being willing to be yourself is "as old as 
history," says Dr. James Gordon Gilkey, "and as universal 
as human life." This problem of being unwilling to be yourself 
is the hidden spring behind many neuroses and psychoses and 
complexes. Angelo Patri has written thirteen books and 
thousands of syndicated newspaper articles on the subject of 
child training, and he says: "Nobody is so miserable as he 
who longs to be somebody and something other than the person 
he is in body and mind." 

This craving to be something you are not is especially 
rampant in Hollywood. Sam Wood, one of Hollywood’s best- 
known directors, says the greatest headache he has with aspiring 
young actors is exactly this problem : to make them be them- 
selves. They all want fo be second-rate Lana Turners or third- 
rate Clark Gables. "The public has already had that flavour," 
Sam Wood keeps telling them; "now it wants something else." 

Before he started directing such pictures as Good-bye, Mr . 
Chips and For Whom the Bell Tolls , Sam Wood spent years 
in die real-estate business, developing sales personalities. He 
declares that the same principles apply in the business world 
as in the world of moving pictures. You won't get anywhere 


playing the ape. You can't be a parrot. 4 ‘Experience has 
taught me/' says Sam Wood, “that it is safest to drop, as 
quickly as possible, people who pretend to be what they 

I recently asked Paul Boynton, employment director for the 
Socony- Vacuum Oil Company, what is the biggest mistake 
people make in applying for jobs. He ought to know: he has 
interviewed more than sixty thousand job seekers; and he has 
written a book entitled 6 Ways to Get a Job . He replied: “The 
biggest mistake people make in applying for jobs is in not being 
themselves. Instead of taking their hair down and being com- 
pletely frank, they often try to give you the answers they think 
you want/" But it doesn't work, because nobody wants a 
phony. Nobody ever wants a counterfeit coin. 

A certain daughter of a street-car conductor had to learn that 
lesson the hard way. She longed to be a singer. But her face 
was her misfortune. She had a large mouth and protruding 
buck teeth. When she first sang in public — in a New Jersey , 
night-club— she tried to pull down her upper lip to cover her 
teeth. She tried to act “glamorous". The result? She made 
herself ridiculous. She was headed for failure. 

However, there was a man in this night-club who heard the 
girl sing and thought she had talent. “See here," he said 
bluntly, “I've been watching your performance and I know 
what it is you're trying to hide. You're ashamed of your 
teeth." The girl was embarrassed, but the man continued, 
“What of it? Is there any particular crime in having buck 
teeth? Don't try to hide them! Open your mouth, and the 
audience will love you when they see you're not ashamed. 
Besides," he said shrewdly, “those teeth you're trying to hide 
may make your fortune I " 

Cass Daley took his advice and forgot about her teeth. From 
that time on, she thought only about her audience. She opened 
her mouth wide and sang with such gusto and enjoyment that 
she became a top star in movies and radio. Other comedians 
are now trying to copy her! 

The renowned William James was speaking of men who 
had never found themselves when he declared that the average 


man develops only ten per cent of bis latent mental abilities. 
"Compared to what we ought to be,” he wrote, *Ve are only 
half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our 
physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the 
human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses 
powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.” 

You and I have such abilities, so let's not waste a second 
worrying because we are not like other people. You are some- 
thing new in this world. Never before, since die beginning oi 
time, has there ever been anybody exactly like you; and never 
again throughout all the ages to come will tnere ever be any- 
body exactly like you again. The new science of genetics in- 
forms us that you are what you are largely as a result of twenty- 
four chromosomes contributed by your father and twenty-four 
chromosomes contributed by your mother. These forty-eight 
chromosomes comprise everything that determines wtiat you 
inherit. In each chromosome there may be, says Amran 
Sheinfeld, "anywhere from scores to hundreds of genes — with 
a single gene, in some cases, able to change the whole life of 
an individual." Truly, we are "fearfully and wonderfully’ * 

Even after your mother and father met and mated, there was 
only one chance in 300,000 billion that the person who is 
specifically you would be bom! In other words, if you had 
300,000 billion brothers and sisters, they might have all been 
different from you. Is all this guesswork? No. It is a scientific 
fact. If you would like to read more about it, go to your public 
library and borrow a book entitled You and Heredity, by 
Amran Scheinfeld. 

I can talk with conviction about this subject of being your- 
self because I feel deeply about it. I know what I am talking 
about. I know from bitter and costly experience. To illustrate: 
when I first came to New York from the cornfields of Missouri, 

I enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I 
aspired to be an actor. I had what I thought was a brilliant 
idea, a short cut to success, an idea so simple, so foolproof, 
that I couldn't understand why thousands of ambitious people 
hadn't already discovered it. It was this: I would study how 


the famous actors of that day — John Drew, Walter Hampden, 
and Otis Skinner — got their effects. Then I would imitate the 
best points of each one of them and make myself into a shining, 
triumphant combination of all of them. How silly! How 
absurd ! I had to waste years of my life imitating other people 
before it penetrated through my thick Missouri skull that I had 
to be myself, and that I couldn't possibly be anyone else. 

That distressing experience ought to have taught me a lasting 
lesson. But it didn't. Not me. I was too dumb. I had to learn 
it all over again. Several years later, I set out to write what 
I hoped would be the best book on public speaking for business 
men that had ever been written. I had the same foolish idea 
about writing this book that I had formerly had about acting : 
I was going to borrow t be ideas of a lot of other writers and put 
them all in one book — a book that would have everything. So 
I got scores of books on public speaking and spent a year in- 
corporating their ideas into my manuscript. But it finally 
dawned on me once again that I was playing the fool. This 
hodgepodge of other men's ideas that I had written was so 
synthetic, so dull, that no business man would ever plod 
through it. So I tossed a year's work into the wastebasket, and 
started all over again. This time I said to myself: "You've 
got to be Dale Carnegie, with all his faults and limitations. 
You can't possibly be anybody else." So I quit trying to be a 
combination of other men, and rolled up my sleeves and did 
what I should have done in the first place: I wrote a text- 
book on public speaking out of my own experiences, observa- 
tions, and convictions as a speaker and a teacher of speaking. 
I learned — for all time, I hope — the lesson that Sir Walter 
Raleigh learned. (I am not talking about the Sir Walter who 
threw his coat in the mud for the Queen to step on. I am talk- 
ing about the Sir Walter Raleigh who was professor of English 
literature at Oxford back in 1904.) "I can't write a book com- 
mensurate with Shakespeare," he said, "but I can write a book 
by me." 

Be yourself. Act on the sage advice that Irving Berlin gave 
the late George Gershwin. When Berlin and Gershwin first met, 
Berlin was fatuous but Gershwin was a struggling young com- 


poser working for thirty-five dollars a week in Tin Pan Alley. 
Berlin, impressed by Gershwin’s ability, offered Gershwin a job 
as his musical secretary at almost three times the salary he was 
then getting. “But don’t take the job," Berlin advised. “Li 
you do, you may develop into a second-rate Berlin. But if 
you insist on being yourself, someday you’ll become a first-rate 

# Gershwin heeded that warning and slowly transformed him- 
self into one of the significant American composers of his 

Charlie Chaplin, Will Rogers, Mary Margaret McBride, Gene 
Autry, and millions of others had to learn the lesson I am trying 
to hammer home in this chapter. They had to learn the hard 
way — just as I did. 

When Charlie Chaplin first started making films, the director 
of the pictures insisted on Chaplin’s imitating a popular German 
comedian of that day. Charlie Chaplin got nowhere until he 
acted himself. Bob Hope had a similar experience : spent years 
in a singing-and-dancing act — and got nowhere until he began 
to wisecrack and be himself. Will Rogers twirled a rope in 
vaudeville for years without saying a word. He got nowhere 
until he discovered his unique gift for humour and began to talk 
as he twirled his rope. 

When Mary Margaret McBride first went on the air, she tried 
to be an Irish comedian and failed. When she tried to be just 
what she was — a plain country girl from Missouri — she became 
one of the most popular radio stars in New York. 

When Gene Autry tried to get rid of his Texas accent and 
dressed like city boys and claimed he was from New York, 
people merely laughed behind his back. But when he started 
twanging his banjo and singing cowboy ballads, Gene Autry 
started out on a career that made him the world’s most popular 
cowboy both in pictures and on the radio. 

You are something new in this world. Be glad of it. Make 
the most of what nature gave you. In the last analysis, all art 
is autobiographical. You can sing only what you are. You 
can paint only what you are. You must be what your experi- 
ences, your environment, and your heredity have made you. 



For better or for worse, you must cultivate your own little 
garden. For better or for worse, you must play your own little 
instrument in the orchestra of life. 

As Emerson said in his essay on “Self-Reliance” : “There is 
a time in every maxi's education when he arrives at the con- 
viction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he 
must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that 
though the wide universe is Ml of good, no kernel of nourish- 
ing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on 
that plot of ground which is given him to till. The power 
which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows 
what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has 

That is the way Emerson said it. But here is the way a poet — 
the late Douglas Malloch — said it; 

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill , 

Be a scrub in the valley — but be 

The best little scrub by the side of the rill / 

Be a bush, if you can’t be a tree. 

If you can’t be a bush , be a bit of the grass , 

And some highway happier make; 

If you can’t be a muskie , then just be a bass — 

But the liveliest bass in the lake! 

We can't all be captains, we’ve got to be crew, 

There's something for aU of us here . 

There’s big work to do and there's lesser to do 
And the task we must do is the near. 

If you can’t be a highway, then just be a trail , 

If you crn’t be the sun, be a star; 

It isn’t by size that you win or you fail — 

Be the best of whatever you are! 

To cultivate a mental attitude that will bring us peace and 
freedom from worry, here is Rule 5 : 

Let’s not imitate others. Let’s find ourselves and be ourselves. 



chapter 17 : If Ton Have a Lemon, Make a 


While writing this book, I dropped in one day at the 
University of Chicago and asked the Chancellor, Robert 
Maynard Hutchins, how he kept from worrying. He replied, 
“I have always tried to follow a bit of advice given me by the 
late Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck and Com- 
pany: 'When you have a lemon, make lemonade/ ” 

That is what a great educator does. But the fool does the 
exact opposite. If he finds that life has handed him a lemon, 
he, gives up and says, 'Tin beaten. It is fate. I haven't got a 
chance/' Then he proceeds to rail against the world and in- 
dulge in an orgy of self-pity. But when the wise man is handed 
a lemon, he says: "What lesson can I learn from this mis- 
fortune? How can I improve my situation? How can I turn 
this lemon into a lemonade?" 

After spending a lifetime studying people and their hidden 
reserves of power, the great psychologist, Alfred Adler, declared 
that one of the wonder-filled characteristics of human beings 
is "their power to turn a minus into a plus.” 

Here is an interesting and stimulating story of a woman I 
know who did just that. Her name is Thelma Thompson, and 
she lives at 100 Momingside Drive, New York City. "During 
the war,” she said, as she told me of her experience, "during 
the war, my husband was stationed at an Army training camp 
near the Mojave Desert, in New Mexico. I went to live there 
in order to be near him. I hated the place. I loathed it. I had 
never before been so miserable. My husband was ordered out 
on manoeuvres in the Mojave Desert, and I was left in a tiny 
shack alone. The heat was unbearable — 125 degrees in the 
shade of a cactus. Not a soul to talk to but Mexicans and 
Indians, and they couldn't speak English. The wind blew 



incessantly, and all the food I ate, and the very air I breathed, 
were filled with sand, sand, sand ! 

"I was so utterly wretched, so sorry for myself, that I wrote 
to my parents. 1 told them I was giving up and coming back 
home. I said I couldn't stand it one minute longer. I would 
rather be in jail ! My father answered my letter with just two 
lines — two lines that will always sing in my memory — two lines 
that completely altered my life : 

Two men looked out from prison bars. 

One saw the mud, the other saw stairs. 

“I read those two lines over and over. I was ashamed of 
myself. I made up my mind I would find out what was good 
in my present situation. I would look for the stars. 

“I made friends with the natives, and their reaction amazed 
me. When I showed interest in their weaving and pottery, they 
gave me presents of their favourite pieces which they had re- 
fused to sell to tourists. I studied the fascinating forms of the 
cactus and the yuccas and the Joshua trees. I learned about 
prairie dogs, watched for the desert sunsets, and hunted for 
seashells that had been left there millions of years ago when 
the sands of the desert had been an ocean floor. 

"What brought about this astonishing change in me? The 
Mojave Desert hadn't changed. The Indians hadn't changed. 
But I had. I had changed my attitude of mind. And by doing 
so, I transformed a wretched experience into the most exciting 
adventure of my life. I was stimulated and excited by this new 
world that I had discovered. I was so excited I wrote a book 
about it — a novel that was published under the title Bright 
Ramparts. ... I had looked out of my self-created prison and 
found the stars/' 

Thelma Thompson, you discovered an old truth that the 
Greeks taught five hundred years before Christ was bom: "The 
best things are the most difficult." 

Harry Emerson Fosdick repeated it again in the twentieth 
century : "Happiness is not mostly pleasure; it is mostly 
victory." Yes, the victory that comes from a sense of achieve- 
ment, of triumph, of turning our lemons into lemonades. 


I once visited a happy fanner down in Florida who turned 
even a poison lemon into lemonade. When he first got this farm, 
he was discouraged. The land was so wretched he could neither 
grow fruit nor raise pigs. Nothing thrived there but scrub oaks 
and rattlesnakes. Then he got his idea. He would turn his 
liability into an asset : he would make the most of these rattle- 
snakes. To everyone's amazement, he started canning rattle- 
snake meat. When I stopped to visit him a few years ago, I 
found that tourists were pouring in to see his rattlesnake farm 
at the rate of twenty thousand a year. His business was thriv- 
ing. I saw poison from the fangs of his rattlers being shipped 
to laboratories to make anti- venom toxin; I saw rattlesnake 
skins being sold at fancy prices to make women's shoes and 
handbags. I saw canned rattlesnake meat being shipped to 
customers all over the world. I bought a picture postcard of 
the place and mailed it at the local post office of the village, 
which had been re-christened “Rattlesnake, Florida", in honour 
of a man who had turned a poison lemon into a sweet lemonade. 

As 1 have travelled up and down and back and forth across 
America time after time, it has been my privilege to meet 
dozens of men and women who have demonstrated “their power 
to turn a minus into a plus." 

The late William Bolitho, author of Twelve Against the Gods, 
put it like this: “The most important thing in life is not to 
capitalise on your gains. Any fool can do that. The really im- 
portant thing is to profit from your losses. That requires intelli- 
gence; and it makes the difference between a man of sense and 
a fool." 

Bolitho uttered those words after he had lost a leg in a rail- 
way accident. But I know a man who lost both legs and turned 
his minus into a plus. His name is Ben Fortson. I met him in 
a hotel elevator in Atlanta, Georgia. As I stepped into the 
elevator, I noticed this cheerful-looking man, who had both legs 
missing, sitting in a wheel-chair in a comer of the elevator. 
When the elevator stopped at his floor, he asked me pleasantly 
if I would step to one comer, so he could manage his chair 
better, “So sorry," he said, “to inconvenience you" — and a 
deep, heart-warming smile lighted his face as he said it. 


When I left the elevator and went to my room, I could think 
of nothing but this cheerful cripple. So I hunted him up and 
asked him to tell me his story. 

“It happened in 1929," he told me with a smile. “I had gone 
out to cut a load of hickory poles to stake the beans in my 
garden. I had loaded the poles on my Ford and started back 
home. Suddenly one pole slipped under the car and jammed 
the steering apparatus at the very moment I was making a 
sharp turn. The car shot over an embankment and hurled me 
against a tree. My spine was hurt. My legs were paralysed, 

“I was twenty-four when that happened, and I have never 
taken a step since/' 

Twenty-four years old, and sentenced to a wheel-chair for the 
rest of his life! I asked him how he managed to take it so 
courageously, and he said, “I didn't." He said he raged and 
rebelled. He fumed about his fate. But as the years dragged 
on, he found that his rebellion wasn't getting him anything 
except bitterness. “I finally realised," he said, “that other 
people were kind and courteous to me. So the least I could do 
was to be kind and courteous to them." 

I asked if he still felt, after all these years, that his accident 
had been a terrible misfortune, and he promptly said, "No." 
He said, “I'm almost glad now that it happened." He told me 
that after he got over the shock and resentment, he began to 
live in a different world. He began to read and developed a 
love for good literature. In fourteen years, he said, he had read 1 
at least fourteen hundred books; and those books had opened 
up new horizons for him and made his life richer than he ever 
thought possible. He began to listen to good music; and he is 
now thrilled by great symphonies that would have bored him 
before. But the biggest change was that he had time to think. 
“For the first time in my life," he said, “I was able to look 
at the world and get a real sense of values. I began to realise 
that most of the things I had been striving for before weren’t 
worth-while at all." 

As a result of his reading, he became interested in politics, 
studied public questions, made speeches from his wheel-chair! 
He got to know people and people got to know him. Today Ben 


Fortson — still in his wheel-chair — is Secretary of State for the 
State of Georgia! 

During the last thirty-five years, I have been conducting 
adult-education classes in New York City, and I have dis- 
covered that one of the major regrets of many adults is that 
they never went to college. They seem to think that not having 
a college education is a great handicap. I know that this isn't 
necessarily true because I have known thousands of successful 
men who never went beyond high school. So I often tell these 
students the story of a man I knew who had never finished even 
grade school. He was brought up in blighting poverty. When 
his father died, his father's friends had to chip in to pay for 
the coffin in which he was buried. After his father's death, his 
mother worked in an umbrella factory ten hours a day and then 
brought piecework home and worked until eleven o'clock at 

The boy brought up in these circumstances went in for 
amateur dramatics put on a by a club in fiis church. He got 
such a thrill out of acting that he decided to take up public 
speaking. This led him into politics. By the time he reached 
thirty, he was elected to the New York State legislature. But 
he was woefully unprepared for such a responsibility. In fact, 
he told me that frankly he didn't know what it was all about. 
He studied the long, complicated bills that he was supposed to 
vote on — but, as far as he was concerned, those bills might as 
well have been written in the language of the Choctaw Indians. 
He was worried and bewildered when he was made a member of 
the committee on forests before he had ever set foot in a forest. 
He was worried and bewildered when he was made a member 
of the State Banking Commission before he had ever had a bank 
account. He himself tolci me that he was so discouraged that he 
would have resigned from the legislature if he hadn't been 
ashamed to admit defeat to his mother. In despair, he decided 
to study sixteen hours a day and turn his lemon of ignorance 
into a lemonade of knowledge. By doing that, he transformed 
himself from a local politician into a national figure and made 
himself so outstanding that The New York Times called him 
‘‘the best-loved citizen of New York." 


I am talking about A 1 Smith. 

Ten years after A1 Smith set out on his programme of political 
self-education, he was the greatest living authority on the 
government of New York State. He was elected Governor of 
New York for four terms — a record never attained by any other 
man. In 1928, he was the Democratic candidate for President. 
Six great universities — including Columbia and Havard — con- 
ferred honorary degrees upon this man who had never gone 
beyond grade school. 

A 1 Smith himself told me that none of these things would 
ever have come to pass if he hadn't worked hard sixteen hours 
a day to turn his minus into a plus. 

Nietzche’s formula for the superior man was “not only to 
bear up under necessity but to love it.” 

The more I have studied the careers of men of achievement 
the more deeply I have been convinced that a surprisingly 
large number of them succeeded because they started out with 
handicaps that spurred them on to great endeavour and great 
rewards. As William James said : “Our infirmities help us un- 

Yes, it is highly probable that Milton wrote better poetry 
because he was blind and that Beethoven composed better music 
because he was deaf. 

Helen Keller's brilliant career was inspired and made possible 
because of her blindness and deafness. 

If Tchaikovsky had not been frustrated — and driven almost 
to suicide by his tragic marriage — if his own life had not been 
pathetic, he probably would never have been able to compose 
his immortal “Symphonic Pathetiqu&” . 

If Dostoevsky and Tolstoy had not led tortured lives, they 
would probably never have been able* to write their immortal 

“If I had not been so great an invalid,” wrote the man who 
changed the scientific concept of life on earth — “if I had not 
been so great an invalid, I should not have done so much work 
as I have accomplished." That was Charles Darwin’s confes- 
sion that his infirmities had helped him unexpectedly. 

The same day that Darwin was bom in England another 


baby was born in a log cabin in the forests of Kentucky. He, 
too, was helped by his infirmities. His name was Lincoln — 
AJbraham Lincoln. If he had been reared in an aristocratic 
family and had had a law degree from Harvard and a happy 
married life, he would probably never have found in the depths 
of his heart the haunting words that he immortalised at Gettys- 
burg, nor the sacred poem that he spoke at his second inaugura- 
tion — the most beautiful and noble phrases ever uttered by a 
ruler of men: “With malice toward none; with charity for 
all ...” 

Harry Emerson Fosdick says in his book, The Power to See 
it Through , “There is a Scandinavian saying which some of us 
might well take as a rallying cry for our fives : ‘The north wind 
made the Vikings.' Wherever did we get the idea that secure 
and pleasant living, the absence of difficulty, and the comfort 
of ease, ever of themselves made people either good or happy? 
Upon the contrary, people who pity themselves go on pitying 
themselves even when they axe laid softly on a cushion, but 
always in history character and happiness have come to people 
in all sorts of circumstances, good, bad, and indifferent, when 
they shouldered their personal responsibility. So, repeatedly 
the north wind has made the Vikings.” 

Suppose we are so discouraged that we feel there is no hope 
of our ever being able to turn our lemons into lemonade — then 
here are two reasons why we ought to try, anyway — two reasons 
why we have everything to gain and nothing to lose. 

Reason one : We may succeed. 

Reason two: Even if we don't succeed, the mere attempt to 
turn our minus into a plus will cause us to look forward instead 
of backward; it will replace negative thoughts with positive 
thoughts; it will release* creative energy and spur us to get so 
busy that we won't have either the time or the inclination to 
mourn over what is past and for ever gone. 

Once when Ole Bull, the world-famous violinist, was giving a 
concert in Paris, the A string on his violin suddenly snapped. 
But Ole Bull simply finished the melody on three strings. “That 
is life,” says Harry Emerson Fosdick, “to have your A string 
snap and finish on three strings.” 


That is not only life. It is more than life. It is life triumphmt! 

If I had the power to do so, I would have these words of 
William Bolitho carved in eternal bronze and hung in every 
schoolhouse in the land : 

The most important thing in life is not to capitalize on your 
gains. Any fool can do that. The really important thing is to 
profit from your losses. That requires intelligence; and it makes 
the difference between a man of sense and a fool. 

So, to cultivate a mental attitude that will bring us peace and 
happiness, let's do something about Rule 6: 

When fate hands ns a lemon, let’s try to make a lemonade. 



chapter 18: How to Cure Melancholy in 
Fourteen Days 

When I started writing this book, I offered a two-hundred-doilar 
prize for the most helpful and inspiring true story on "How I 
Conquered Worry”. 

The three judges for this contest were: Eddie Rickehbacker, 
president, Eastern Air Lines; Dr. Stewart W. McClelland, presi- 
dent, Lincoln Memorial University; H. V. Kaltenbom, radio 
news analyst. However, we received two stories so superb that 
the judges found it impossible to choose between them. So we 
divided the prize. Here is one of the stories that tied for first 
prize — the story of C. R. Burton (who works for Whizzer Motor 
Sales of Missouri, Inc.), 1067 Commercial Street, Springfield, 

“1 lost my mother when I was nine years old, and my father 
when I was twelve,” Mr. Burton wrote me. “My father was 
killed, but my mother simply walked out of the house one day 
nineteen years ago; and I have never seen her since. Neither 
have I ever seen my two little sisters that she took with her. She 
never even wrote me a letter until after she had been gone seven 
years. My father was killed in an accident three years after 
Mother left. He and a partner bought a cafe in a small Missouri 
town; and while Father was away on a business trip, his partner 
sold the cafe for cash and skipped out. A friend wired Father 
to hurry back home; and in his hurry, Father was killed in a car 
accident at Salinas, Kansas. Two of my father's sisters, who 
were poor and old and sick took three of the children into their 
homes* Nobody wanted me and my little brother. We were left 
at the mercy of the town. We were haunted by the fear of being 
called orphans and treated as orphans. Our fears soon material- 
ised, too. I lived for a little while with a poor family in town. But 
times were hard and the head of the family lost his job, so they 




couldn't afford to feed me any longer. Then Mr. and Mrs. Loftin 
took me to live with them on their farm eleven miles from town. 
Mr. Loftin was seventy years old, and sick in bed with shingles. 
He told me I could stay there 'as long as I didn't lie, didn't 
steal, and did as I was told'. Those three orders became my 
Bible. I lived by them strictly. I started to school, but the first 
week found me at home, bawling like a baby. The other children 
picked on me and poked fun at my big nose and said I was dumb 
and called me an 'orphan brat'. I was hurt so badly that I 
wanted to fight them; but Mr. Loftin, the farmer who had taken 
me in, said to me : 'Always remember that it takes a bigger man 
to walk away from a fight than it does to stay and fight.' I 
didn't fight until one day a kid picked up some chicken manure 
from the schoolhouse yard and threw it in my face. I beat the 
hell out of him; and made a couple of friends. They said he had 
it coming to him. 

"I was proud of a new cap that Mrs. Loftin had bought me. 
One day one of the big girls jerked it off my head and filled it 
with water and rained it. She said she filled it with water so that 
'the water would wet my thick skull and keep my popcorn 
brains from popping' . 

"I never cried at school, but I used to bawl it out at home. 
Then one day Mrs. Loftin gave me some advice that did away 
with all troubles and worries and turned my enemies into friends. 
She said, 'Ralph, they won't tease you and call you an "orphan 
brat" any more if you will get interested in them and see how 
much you can do for them.' I took her advice. I studied hard; 
and I soon headed the class, I was never envied because I went 
out of my way to help them. 

"I helped several of the boys write their themes and essays. I 
wrote complete debates for some of the boys. One lad was 
ashamed to let his folks know that I was helping him. So he 
used to tell his mother he was going possum hunting. Then he 
would come to Mr. Loftin's farm and tie his dogs up in the 
barn while I helped him with his lessons. I wrote book reviews 
for one lad and spent several evenings helping one of the girls 
on her maths. 

"Death struck our neighbourhood. Two elderly farmers died 


and one woman was deserted by her husband. I was the only 
male in four families. I helped these widows for two years. On 
my way to and from school, I stopped at their farms, cut wood 
for them, milked their cows, and fed and watered their stock. 
I was now blessed instead of cursed. I was accepted as a friend 
by everyone. They showed their real feelings when I returned 
home from the Navy. More than two hundred farmers came to 
see me the first day I was home. Some of them drove as far as 
eighty miles, and their concern for me was really sincere. 
Because I have been busy and happy trying to help other people, 
I have few worries; and I haven't been called an 'orphan brat' 
now for thirteen years." 

Hooray for C. R. Burton! He knows how to win friends! 
And he also knows how to conquer worry and enjoy life. 

So did the late Dr. Frank Loope, of Seattle, Washington. He 
was an invalid for twenty-three years. Arthritis. Yet Stuart 
Whithouse of the Seattle Star wrote me, saying, "I interviewed 
Dr. Loope many times; and I have never known a man more 
unselfish or a man who got more out of life," 

How did this bed-ridden invalid get so much out of life? I'll 
give you two guesses. Did he do it by complaining and criticis- 
ing? No. ... By wallowing in self-pity and demanding that 
he be the centre of attention and everyone cater to him? No. 
. . . Still wrong. He did it by adopting as his slogan the motto 
of the Prince of Wales: “Ich dien * — " I serve." He accumu- 
lated the names and addresses of other invalids and cheered 
both them and himself by writing happy, encouraging letters. 
In fact, he organised a letter-writing club for invalids and got 
them writing letters to one another. Finally, he formed a 
national organisation called The Shut-in Society. 

As he lay in bed, he wrote an average of fourteen hundred 
letters a year and brought joy to thousands of invalids by getting 
radios and books for shut-ins. 

What was the chief difference between Dr. Loope and a lot 
of other people? Just this: Dr. Loope had the inner glow of a 
man with a purpose, a mission. He had the joy of knowing that 
he was being used by an idea far nobler and more significant 
than himself, instead of being as Shaw put it, "a self-centred. 


little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world 
would not devote itself to making hi m happy/' 

Here is the most astonishing statement that I ever read from 
the pen of a great psychiatrist. This statement was made by 
Alfred Adler. He used to say to his melancholia patients : "You 
can be cured in fourteen days if you follow this prescription. 
Try to think every day how you can please someone." 

That statement sounds so incredible that I feel I ought to try 
to explain it by quoting a couple of pages from Dr. Adler's 
splendid book. What Life Should Mean to You .* (By the way, 
there is a book you ought to read.) 

"Melancholia," says Adler in What Life Should Mean to 
You: "is like a long-continued rage and reproach against 
others, though for the purpose of gaining care, sympathy 
and support, the patient seems only to be dejected about 
his own guilt, A melancholiac's first memory is generally some- 
thing like this: ‘I remember I wanted to lie on the couch, but 
my brother was lying there. I cried so much that he had to 

"Melancholiacs are often inclined to revenge themselves by 
committing suicide, and the doctor's first care is to avoid giving 
them an excuse for suicide. I myself try to relieve the whole 
tension by proposing to them, as the first rule in treatment, 
'Never do anything you don't like/ This seems to be very 
modest, but I believe that it goes to the root of the whole trouble. 
If a melancholiac is able to do anything he wants, whom can 
he accuse? What has he got to revenge himself for? Tf you 
want to go to the theatre,' I tell him, 'or to go on a holiday, do 
it. If you find on the way that you don't want to, stop it/ It 
is the best situation anyone could be in. It gives a satisfaction 
to his striving for superiority. He is like God and can do what 
he pleases. On the other hand, it does not fit very easily into 
his style of life. He wants to dominate and accuse others and if 
they agree with him there is no way of dominating them. This 
rule is a great relief and I have never had a suicide among my 

"Generally the patient replies, 'But there is nothing I like 

* Alien & Uawin Ltd. 


doing/ I have prepared for this answer, because I have heard it 
so often. Then refrain from doing anything you dislike/ I say. 
Sometimes, however, he will reply, "I should like to stay in bed 
all day/ I know that, if I allow it, he will no longer want to do 
it. I know that, if I hinder him, he will start a war. I always 

“This is one rule. Another attacks their style of life more 
directly. I tell them, 'You can be cured in fourteen days if you 
follow this prescription . Try to think every day how you can 
please someone / See what this means to them. They are occu- 
pied with the thought. ‘How can I worry someone/ The 
answers are very interesting. Some say, ‘This will be very easy 
lor me. I have done it all my life. They have never done it. I 
ask them to think it over. They do not think it over. I tell them, 
‘You can make use of all the time you spend when you are 
unable to go to sleep by thinking how you can please someone, 
and it will be a big step forward in your health/ When I see 
them next day, I ask them, ‘Did you think over what I sug- 
gested? ’ They answer, ‘Last night I went to sleep as soon as I 
got into bed/ AH this must be done, of course, in a modest, 
friendly manner, without a hint of superiority. 

“Others will answer, ‘I could never do it. I am so worried/ 
I tell them, ‘Don't stop worrying; but at the same time you can 
think now and then of others/ I want to direct their interest 
always towards their fellows. Many say, ‘Why should I please 
others? Others do not try to please me/ ‘You must think of 
your health/ I answer. ‘The others will suffer later on/ It is 
extremely rare that I have found a patient who said, ‘I have 
thought over what you suggested/ All my efforts are devoted 
towards increasing the sopial interest of the patient. 1 know that 
the real reason for Ms malady is his lack of co-operation and I. 
want him to see it too. As soon as he can connect himself with 
his fellow men on an equal and co-operative footing, he is 
cured. . . . The most important task imposed by religion has 
always been ‘Love thy neighbour'. ... It is the individual 
who is not interested in his fellow man who has the greatest 
difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is 
from among such individuals that all human failures spring. . . 


All that we demand of a human being, and the highest praise 
we can give him is that he should be a good fellow worker, a 
friend to all other men, and a true partner in love and 

Dr. Adler urges us to do a good deed every day. And what 
is a good deed? "A good deed/' said the prophet Mohammed, 
“is one that brings a smile of joy to the face of another.” 

Why will doing a good deed every day produce such astound- 
ing efforts on the doer? Because trying to please others will 
cause us to stop thinking of ourselves : the very thing that pro- 
duces worry and fear and melancholia. 

Mrs. William T. Moon, who operates the Moon Secretarial 
School, 521 Fifth Avenue, New York, didn't have to spend two 
weeks thinking how she could please someone in order to banish 
her melancholy. She went Alfred Adler one better — no, she went 
Adler thirteen better. She banished her melancholy, not in four- 
teen days, but in one day, by thinking how she could please a 
couple of orphans. 

It happened like this: “In December, five years ago,” said 
Mrs. Moon, “I was engulfed in a feeling of sorrow and self-pity. 
After several years of happy married life, I had lost my husband. 
As the Christmas holidays approached, my sadness deepened. I 
had never spent a Christmas alone in all my life; and I dreaded 
to see this Christmas come. Friends had invited me to spend 
Christmas with them. But I did not feel up to any gaiety. I 
knew I would be a wet blanket at any party. So, I refused their 
kind invitations. As Christmas Eve approached, I was more 
and more overwhelmed with self-pity. True, I should have been 
thankful for many things, as all of us have many things for 
which to be thankful. The day before Christmas, I left my office 
at three o'clock in the afternoon and started walking aimlessly 
up Fifth Avenue, hoping that I might banish my self-pity and 
melancholy. The avenue was jammed with gay and happy 
crowds — scenes that brought back memories of happy years that 
were gone. I just couldn't bear the thought of going home to a 
lonely and empty apartment. I was bewildered. I didn't know 
what to do. I couldn't keep the tears back. After walking aim- 


lessly for an hour or so, I found myself in front of a bus terminal. 
I remembered that my husband and I had often boarded an un- 
known bus for adventure, so I boarded the first bus I found at 
the station. After crossing the Hudson River and riding for some 
time, I heard the bus conductor say, "Last stop, lady/ I got off. 
I didn't even know the name of the town. It was a quiet, peace- 
ful little place. While waiting for the next bus home, I started 
walking up a residential street. As I passed a church, I heard 
the beautiful strains of 'Silent Night'. I went in. The church 
was empty except for the organist. I sat down unnoticed in one 
of the pews. The lights from the gaily decorated Christmas 
tree made the decorations seem like myriads of stars dancing 
in the moonbeams. The long-drawn cadences of the music — 
and the fact that I had forgotten to eat since morning — made 
me drowsy. I was weary and heavy-laden, so I drifted off to 

"When I awoke,’ I didn't know where I was. I was terrified. 
I saw in front of me two small children who had apparently 
come in to see the Christmas tree. One, a little girl, was pointing 
at me and saying, "I wonder if Santa Claus brought her'. These 
children were also frightened when I awoke. I told them that 
I wouldn't hurt them. They were poorly dressed. I asked them 
where their mother and daddy were. 'We ain't got no mother 
and daddy,' they said. Here were two little orphans much 
worse off than I had ever been. They made me feel ashamed 
of my sorrow and self-pity. I showed them the Christmas tree 
and then took them to a drugstore and we had some refresh- 
ments, and I brought them some candy and a few presents. 
My loneliness vanished as if by magic. These two orphans gave 
me the only real happiness and self-forgetfulness that I had had 
in months. As I chatted with them, I realised how lucky I had 
been. I thanked God that all my Christmases as a child had 
been bright with parental love and tenderness. Those two little 
orphans did far more for me than I did for them. That experi- 
ence showed me again the necessity of making other people 
happy in order to be happy ourselves. I found that happiness is 
contagious. By giving, we receive. By helping someone and 
giving out love, I had conquered worry and sorrow and self- 


pity, and felt like a new person* And I was a new person — not 
only then, but in the years that followed/’ 

I could fill a book with stories of people who forgot themselves 
into health and happiness* For example, let’s take the case of 
Margaret Tayler Yates, one of the most popular women in the 
United State Navy. 

Mrs* Yates is a writer of novels, but none of her mystery 
stories is half so interesting as the true story of what happened 
to her that fateful morning when the Japanese struck our 
fleet at Pearl Harbour. Mrs. Yates had been an invalid for more 
than a year: a bad heart. She spent twenty-two out of ever} 7 
twenty-four hours in bed. The longest journey that she under- 
took was a walk into the garden to take a sunbath. Even then, 
she had to lean on the maid’s arm as she walked. She herself 
told me that in those days she expected to be an invalid for the 
balance of her life. “I would never have really lived again/’ 
she told me, “if the Japs had not struck Pearl Harbour and 
jarred me out of my complacency. 

“When this happened/' Mrs. Yates said, as she told her story, 
“everything was chaos and confusion. One bomb struck so near 
my home, the concussion threw me out of bed. Army trucks 
rushed out to Hickam Field, Scofield Barracks, and Kaneohe 
Bay Air Station, to bring Army and Navy wives and children 
to the public schools. There the Red Cross telephoned those 
who had extra rooms to take them in. The Red Cross workers 
knew that I had a telephone beside my bed, so they asked me to 
be a clearing-house of information. So I kept track of where 
Army and Navy wives and children were being housed, and all 
Navy and Army - men were instructed by the Red Cross to tele- 
phone me to find out where their families were. 

“I soon discovered that my husband. Commander Robert 
Raleigh Yates, was safe. I tried to cheer up the wives who did 
not know whether their husbands had been killed; and I tried 
to give consolation to the widows whose husbands had been 
killed — and they were many. Two thousand, one hundred and 
seventeen officers and enlisted men in the Navy and Marine 
Corps were killed and 960 were reported missing, 

“At first I answered these phone calls while lying in bed. 


Then I answered them sitting up in bed. Finally, I got so busy, 
so excited, that I forgot all about my weakness and got out of 
bed and sat by a table. By helping others who were much worse 
off than I was, I forgot all about myself; and I have never gone 
back to bed again except for my regular eight hours of sleep 
each night. I realise now that if the Japs had not struck at 
Pearl Harbour, I would probably have remained a semi-invalid 
all my life. I was comfortable in bed. I was constantly waited 
on, and I now realise that I was unconsciously losing my will 
to rehabilitate myself. 

"The attack on Pearl Harbour was one of the greatest 
tragedies in American history, but as far as I was concerned, 
it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. That 
terrible crisis gave me strength that I never dreamed I possessed. 
It took my attention off myself and focused it on others. It 
gave me something big and vital and important to live for. I 
no longer had time to think about myself or care about myself.” 

A third of the people who rush to psychiatrists for help could 
probably cure themselves if they would only do as Margaret 
Yates did: get interested in helping others. My idea? No, that 
is approximately what Carl Jung said. And he ought to know — 
if anybody does. He said: "About one-third of my patients 
are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the 
senselessness and emptiness of their lives.” To put it another 
way, they are trying to thumb a ride through life — and the 
parade passes them by. So they rush to a psychiatrist with 
their petty, senseless, useless lives. Having missed the boat, 
they stand on the wharf, blaming everyone except themselves 
and demanding that the world cater to their self-centred desires. 

You may be saying^ to yourself now: "Well, I am not 
impressed by these stones. I myself could get interested in a 
couple of orphans I met on Christinas Eve; and if I had been 
at Pearl Harbour, I would gladly have done what Margaret 
Taylex Yates did. But with me things are different: I live 
an ordinary humdrum life. I work at a dull job eight hours a 
day. Nothing dramatic ever happens to me. How can I get 
interested in helping others? And why should I? What m there 
in it for me?” 


A fair question. I'll try to answer it. However humdrum 
your existence may be, you surely meet some people every day 
of your life. What do you do about them? Do you merely 
stare through them, or do you try to find out what it is that 
makes them tick? How about the postman, for example — he 
walks hundreds of miles every year, delivering mail to your 
door; but have you ever taken the trouble to find out where he 
lives, or ask to see a snapshot of his wife and his kids? Did 
you ever ask him if his feet get tired, or if he ever gets bored? 

What about the grocery boy, the newspaper vendor, the chap 
at the comer who polishes your shoes? These people are human 
— bursting with troubles, and dreams, and private ambitions. 
They are also bursting for the chance to share them with some- 
one. But do you ever let them? Do you ever show an eager, 
honest interest in them or their lives? That's the sort of thing 
I mean. You don't have to become a Florence Nightingale or 
a social reformer to help improve the world — your own private 
world; you can start tomorrow morning with the people you 
meet l 

What's in it for you? Much greater happiness! Greater 
satisfaction, and pride in yourself ! Aristotle called this kind of 
attitude “enlightened selfishness". Zoroaster said, “Doing good 
to others is not a duty. It is a joy, for it increases your own 
health and happiness." And Benjamin Franklin summed it up 
very simply — “When you are good to others," said Franklin, 
“you are best to yourself." 

“No discovery of modem psychology," writes Henry C. 
Link, director of the Psychological Service Centre in New York, 
“no discovery of modem psychology is, in my opinion, so 
important as its scientific proof of the necessity of self-sacrifice 
or discipline to self-realisation and happiness." 

Thinking of others will not only keep you from worrying 
about yourself; it will also help you to make a lot of friends 
and have a lot of fun. How? Well, I once asked Professor 
William Lyon Phelps, of Yale, how he did it; and here is what 
he said: 

“I never go into a hotel or a barber-shop or a store with- 
out saying something agreeable to everyone I meet. I try to say 


something that treats them as an individual— not merely a cog 
in a machine. I sometimes compliment the girl who waits on 
me in the store by telling her how beautiful her eyes are — or her 
hair. I will ask a barber if he doesn't get tired standing on his 
feet all day. I'll ask him how he came to take up barbeiing — 
how long he has been at it and how many heads of hair he has 
cut. I'll help him figure it out. I find that taking an interest 
in people makes them beam with pleasure. I frequently shake 
hands with a redcap who has carried my grip. It gives him 
a new lift and freshens him up for the whole day. One extremely 
hot summer day, I went into the dining car of the New Haven 
Railway to have lunch. The crowded car was almost like a 
furnace and the service was slow. When the steward finally 
got around to handing me the menu, I said: The boys back 
there cooking in that hot kitchen certainly must be suffering 
today.' The steward began to curse. His tones were bitter. 
At first, I thought he was angry. 'Good God Almighty/ he 
exclaimed, 'people come in here and complain about the food. 
They kick about the slow service and growl about the heat and 
the prices. I have listened to their criticisms for nineteen years 
and you are the first person and the only person that has ever 
expressed any sympathy for the cooks back there in the boil- 
ing kitchen. I wish to God we had more passengers like 

"The steward was astounded because I had thought of the 
coloured cooks as human beings, and not merely as cogs in the 
organisation of a great railway. What people want," con- 
tinued Professor Phelps, "is a little attention as human beings. 
When I meet a man cm the street with a beautiful dog, I always 
comment on the dog'sjbeauty. As I walk on and glance back 
over my shoulder, I frequently see the man petting and admiring 
the dog. My appreciation has renewed his appreciation. 

"One time in England, I met a shepherd, and expressed my 
sincere admiration for his big, intelligent sheepdog. I asked him 
to tell me how he trained the dog. As I walked away, I glanced 
back over my shoulder and saw the dog standing with his paws 
on the shepherd's shoulders and the shepherd was petting Mm. 
By taking a little interest in the shepherd and his dog, I made 


the shepherd happy. 1 made the dog happy and I made myself 

Can you imagine a man who goes around shaking hands 
with porters and expressing sympathy for the cooks m the hot 
kitchen — and telling people how much he admires their dogs — 
can you imagine a man like that being sour and worried and 
needing the services of a psychiatrist? You can't, can you? 
No, of course not. A Chinese proverb puts it this way : "A bit 
of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses." 

You didn't have to tell that to Billy Phelps of Yale. He 
knew it. He lived it. 

If you are a man, skip this paragraph. It won't interest 
you. It tells how a worried, unhappy girl got several men 
to propose to her. The girl who did that is a grandmother now. 
A few years ago, I spent the night in her and her husband's 
home. I had been giving a lecture in her town; and the next 
morning she drove me about fifty miles to catch a train on the 
main line to New York Central. We got to talking about win- 
ning friends, and she said: "Mr. Carnegie, I am going to tell 
you something that I have never confessed to anyone before — 
not even to my husband." (By the way, this story isn't going 
to be half so interesting as you probably imagine.) She told 
me that she had been reared in a social-register family in 
Philadelphia. "The tragedy of my girlhood and young woman- 
hood," she said, "was our poverty. We could never entertain 
the way the other girls in my social set entertained. My clothes 
were never of the best quality. I outgrew them and they didn't 
fit and they were often out of style. I was so humiliated, so 
ashamed, that I often cried myself to sleep. Finally, in sheer 
desperation, I hit upon the idea of always asking my partner 
at dinner-parties to tell me about his experiences, his ideas, 
and his plans for the future. I didn't ask these questions because 
I was especially interested in the answers. I did it solely to keep 
my partner from looking at my poor clothes. But a strange 
thing happened: as I listened to these young men talk and 
learned more about them, I really became interested in listening 
to what they had to say. I became so interested that I myself 
sometimes forgot about my clothes. But the astounding thing 


to me was this : since I was a good listener and encouraged the 
boys to talk about themselves, I gave them happiness and I 
gradually became the most popular girl in our social group and 
three of these men proposed marriage to me.” 

(There you are, girls: that is the way it is done.) 

Some people who read this chapter are going to say: “All 
this talk about getting interested in others is a lot of damn 
nonsense! Sheer religious pap! None of that stuff for me! 
I am going to put money in my purse. I am going to grab 
all I can get — and grab it now — and to hell with the other dumb 
clucks ! " 

Well, if that is your opinion, you are entitled to it; but if you 
are right, then all the great philosophers and teachers since the 
beginning of recorded history — Jesus, Confucius, Buddha, 
Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Saint Francis — were all wrong. But 
since you may sneer at the teachings of religious leaders, let's 
turn for advice to a couple of atheists. First, let's take the 
late A. E. Housman, professor at Cambridge University, and 
one of the most distinguished scholars of his generation. In 
1936, he gave an address at Cambridge University on “The 
Name and Nature of Poetry 5 ' . In that address, he declared 
that “the greatest truth ever uttered and the most profound 
moral discovery of all time were those words of Jesus: ‘He 
that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for 
my sake shall find it.' " 

We have heard preachers say that all our lives. But Housman 
was an atheist, a pessimist, a man who contemplated suicide; 
and yet he felt that the man who thought only of himself 
wouldn't get much out of life. He would be miserable. But the 
man who forgot himsejf in service to others would find the joy 
of living. 

If you are not impressed by what A. E. Housman said, let's 
turn for advice to the most distinguished American atheist of 
the twentieth century : Theodore Dreiser. Dreiser ridiculed all 
religions as fairy tales and regarded life as “a tale told by 
an idiot, full of -sound and fury, signifying nothing." Yet 
Dreiser advocated the one great principle that Jesus taught — 
service to others. “If he [man] is to extract any joy out of 


his span/' Dreiser said, "he must think and plan to make things 
better not only for himself but for others, since joy for himself 
depends upon his joy in others and theirs in him." 

If we are going "to make things better for others" — as 
Dreiser advocated — let's be quick about it. Time is a- wastin'. 
"I shall pass this way but once. Therefore any good that I 
can do or any kindness that I can show— let me do it now. 
Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way 

So if you want to banish worry and cultivate peace and happi- 
ness, here is Rule 7 : 

Forget yourself by becoming interested in others. Do every day 
a good deed that will put a smile of joy on someone’s face. 



Rule i: Let's fill our minds with thoughts of peace, 
courage, health, and hope, for “our life is what 
our thoughts make it”. 

Rule 2 : Let's never try to get even with our enemies, 
because if we do we will hurt ourselves far more 
than we hurt them. Let's do as General Eisen- 
hower does: let's never waste a minute thinking 
about people we don't like. 

Rule 3: A . Instead of worrying about ingratitude, let's 
expect it. Let's remember that Jesus healed ten 
lepers in one day — and only one thanked Him. 
Why should we expect more gratitude than Jesus 

B . Let's remember that the only way to find 
happiness is not to expect gratitude — but to give 
for the joy of giving. 

C. Let's remember that gratitude is a “culti- 
vated” trait; so if we want our children to be 
grateful, we must train them to be grateful. 

Rule 4 : Count your blessings — not your troubles I 

Rule 5 : Let's not imitate others. Let's find ourselves and 
be ourselves, for “envy is ignorance” and 
“imitation is suicide”. 

Rule 6 : When fate hands us a lemon, let's try to make a 

Rule 7 : Let's forget our own unhappiness — by trying to 
create a little happiness for others. “When you 
are good to others, you are best to yourself.” 



chapter ig: How My Mother and Father 
Conquered Worry 

As I have said, I was bom and brought up on a Missouri farm. 
Like most farmers of that day, my parents had pretty hard 
scratching. My mother had been a country schoolteacher and 
my father had been a farm hand working for twelve dollars a 
month. Mother made not only my clothes, but also the soap 
with which we washed our clothes. 

We rarely had any cash — except once a year when we sold 
our hogs. We traded our butter and eggs at the grocery store 
for flour, sugar, cofee. When I was twelve years old, I didn't 
have as much as fifty cents a year to spend on myself. I can 
still remember the day we went to a Fourth-of-July celebration 
and Father gave me ten cents to spend as I wished, I felt the 
wealth of the Indies was mine. 

I walked a mile to attend a one-room country school. I 
walked when the snow was deep and the thermometer shivered 
around twenty-eight degrees below zero. Until I was fourteen, 
I never had any rubbers or overshoes. During the long, cold 
winters, my feet were always wet and cold. As a child I never 
dreamed that anyone had dry, warm feet during the winter. 

My parents slaved sixteen hours a day, yet we constantly 
were oppressed by debts and harassed by hard luck. One of 
my earliest memories is watching die flood waters of the 
103 River rolling over our com- and hayfields, destroying every- 
thing, The floods destroyed our crops six years out of seven. 
Year after year, our hogs died of cholera and we burned them. 
I can close my eyes now and recall the pungent odour of burning 
hog flesh. 

One year, the floods didn't come. We raised a bumper com 
crop, bought feed cattle, and fattened them with our com, 

1 66 


But the floods might just as well have drowned our corn that 
year, for the price of fat cattle fell on the Chicago market; and 
after feeding and fattening the cattle, we got only thirty dollars* 
more for them than what we had paid for them. Thirty dollars 
for a whole year's work l 

No matter what we did, we lost money. I can still remember 
the mule colts that my father bought. We fed them for three 
years, hired men to break them, then shipped them to Memphis, 
Tennessee — and sold them for less than what we had paid for 
them three years previously. 

After ten years of hard, gruelling work, we were not only 
penniless; we were heavily in debt. Our farm was mortgaged. 
Try as hard as we might, we couldn't even pay the interest on 
the mortgage. The bank that held the mortgage abused and 
insulted my father and threatened to take his farm away from 
Mm. Father was forty-seven years old. After more than thirty 
years of hard work, he had nothing but debts and humiliation. 
It was more than he could take. He worried. His health broke. 
H had no desire for food; in spite of the hard physical work 
he was doing in the field all day, he had to take medicine to 
give him an appetite. He lost flesh. The doctor told my mother 
that he would be dead within six months. Father was so worried 
that he no longer wanted to live. I have often heard my mother 
say that when Father went to the bam to feed the horses and 
milk the cows, and didn't come back as soon as she expected, 
she would go out to the bam, fearing that she would find his 
body dangling from the end of a rope. One day as he returned 
home from Maryville, where the banker had threatened to fore- 
close the mortgage, he stopped his horses on a bridge crossing 
the 102 River, got off the wagon, and stood for a long time 
looking down at the water, debating with himself whether he 
should jump in and end it all. 

Years later, Father told me that the only reason he didn't 
jump was because of my mother's deep, abiding, and joyous 
belief that if we loved God and kept His commandments every- 
thing would come out all right Mother was right. Everything 
did come out all right in the end. Father lived forty-two happy 
years longer, and died in 1941, at the age of eighty-nine. 


During all those years of struggle and heartache, my mother 
never worried. She took all her troubles to God in prayer. 
Every night before we went to bed, Mother would read a chapter 
from the Bible; frequently Mother or Father would read these 
comforting words of Jesus: “In my Father's house are many 
mansions. ... I go to prepare a place for you , . . that 
where I am, there ye may be also.” Then we all knelt down 
before our chairs in that lonely Missouri farmhouse and prayed 
for God's love and protection. 

When William James was professor of philosophy at 
Harvard, he said, “Of course, the sovereign cure for worry is 
religious faith.” 

You don't have to go to Harvard to discover that. My 
mother found that out on a Missouri farm. Neither floods nor 
debts nor disaster could suppress her happy, radiant, and vic- 
torious spirit. I can still hear her singing as she worked : 

Peace , peace t wonderful peace. 

Flowing down from the Father above, 

Sweep over my spirit for ever l pray 
In fathomless billows of love . 

My mother wanted me to devote my life to religious work. I 
thought seriously of becoming a foreign missionary. Then I 
went away to college; and gradually, as the years passed, a 
change came over me. I studied biology, science, philosophy, 
and comparative religions. I read books on how the Bible was 
written. I began to question many of its assertions. I began to 
doubt many of the narrow doctrines taught by the country 
preachers of that day. I was bewildered. Like Walt Whitman, 
I “felt curious, abrupt questionings stir within me.” I didn't 
know what to believe. I saw no purpose in life. I stopped 
praying. I became an agnostic. I believed that all life was 
planless and aimless. I believed that human beings had no more 
divine purpose than had the dinosaurs that roamed the earth 
two hundred million years ago. I felt that someday the human 
race would perish — just as the dinosaurs had. I knew that 
science taught that the sun was slowly cooling and that when 


its temperature fell even ten per cent, no form of life could 
exist on earth. I sneered at the idea of a beneficent God who 
had created man in His own likeness. I believed that the 
billions upon billions of suns whirling through black, cold, life- 
less space had been created by blind force. Maybe they had 
never been created at all. Maybe they existed for ever — just as 
time and space have always existed. 

Do I profess to know the answers to all these questions now? 
No. No man has ever been able to explain the mystery of the 
universe — the mystery of life. We are surrounded by mysteries. 
The operation of your body is a profound mystery. So is the 
electricity in your home. So is the flower in the crannied 
wall. So is the green grass outside your window. Charles F. 
Kettering, the guiding genius of General Motors Research 
Laboratories, has been giving Antioch College thirty thousand 
dollars a year out of his own pocket to try to discover why grass 
is green. He declares that if we knew how grass is able to trans- 
form sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into food sugar, we 
could transform civilisation. 

Even the operation of the engine in your car is a profound 
mystery. General Motors Research Laboratories have spent 
years of time and millions of dollars trying to find out how and 
why a spark in the cylinder sets off an explosion that makes 
your car run; and they don't know the answer. 

The fact that we don't understand the mysteries of our bodies 
or electricity or a gas engine doesn't keep us from using and 
enjoying them. The fact that I don't understand the mysteries 
of prayer and religion no longer keeps me from enjoying the 
richer, happier life that religion brings. At long last, I realise 
the wisdom of Santayana's words : “Man is not made to under- 
stand life, but to live if." 

I have gone back — well, I was about to say that I had gone 
back to religion; but that would not be accurate. I have gone 
forward to a new concept of religion. I no longer have the 
faintest interest in the differences in creeds that divide the 
Churches. But I am tremendously interested in what religion 
does for me, just as I am interested in what electricity and good 
food and water do for me. They help me to lead a richer. 


fuller, happier life. But religion does far more than that. It 
brings me spiritual values. It gives me, as William James puts 
it, €< a new zest for life . . . mare life , a larger , richer , more 
satisfying life ** It gives me faith, hope, and courage. It 
banishes tensions, anxieties, fears, and worries. It gives purpose 
to my life — and direction. It vastly improves my happiness. 
It gives me abounding health. It helps me to create for myself 
“an oasis of peace amidst the whirling sands of life." 

Francis Bacon was right when he said, three hundred and 
fifty years ago: “A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to 
atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about 
to religion." 

I can remember the days when people talked about the 
conflict between science and religion. But no more. The newest 
of all sciences — psychiatry — is teaching what Jesus taught. 
Why? Because psychiatrists realise that prayer and a strong 
religious faith will banish the worries, the anxieties, the strains 
and fears that cause more than half of all our ills. They know, 
as one of their leaders. Dr. A. A. Brill said: “Anyone who is 
truly religious does not develop a neurosis." 

If religion isn't true, then life is meaningless. It is a tragic 

I interviewed Henry Ford a few years prior to Ms death. 
Before I met him, I had expected him to show the strains of 
the long years he had spent in building up and managing one 
of the world's greatest businesses. So I was surprised to see 
how calm and well and peaceful he looked at seventy-eight. 
When I asked him if he ever worried, he replied, “No. I believe 
God is managing affairs and that He doesn't need any advice 
from me. With God in charge, I believe that everything will 
work out for the best in the end. So - ' what is there to worry 
about? " 

Today, even psychiatrists are becoming modem evangelists. 
They are not urging us to lead religious lives to avoid hell-fires 
in the next world, but they are urging us to lead religious lives 
to avoid the hell-fires of this world — the hell-fires of stomach 
ulcer, angina pectoris, nervous breakdowns, and insanity. As 
m example of what our psychologists and psychiatrists are 


teaching, read The Return to Religion , by Dr. Henry C. Link. 
You will probably find a copy in your public library. 

Yes, the Christian religion is an inspiring, health-giving 
activity. Jesus said: “I came that ye might have life and have 
it more abundantly.” Jesus denounced and attacked the dry 
forms and dead rituals that passed for religion in His day. He 
was a rebel. He preached a new kind of religion — a religion 
that threatened to upset the world. That is why He was 
crucified. He preached that religion should exist for man — not 
man for religion; that the Sabbath was made for man — not man 
for the Sabbath. He talked more about fear than He did about 
sin. The wrong kind of fear is a sin — a sin against your health, 
a sin against the richer, fuller, happier, courageous life that 
Jesus advocated. Emerson spoke of himself as a “Professor of 
the Science of Joy”. Jesus, too, was a teacher of “the Science 
of Joy”. He commanded His disciples to “rejoice and leap for 


Jesus declared that there were only two important things 
about religion : loving God with all our heart, and our neighbour 
as ourselves. Any man who does that is religious, regardless 
of whether he knows it. For example, my father-in-law, Henry 
Price, of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He tries to live by the golden rule; 
and he is incapable of doing anything mean, selfish, or dis- 
honest, However, he doesn't attend church, and regards him- 
self as an agnostic. Nonsense! What makes a man a Christian? 
I’ll let John Baillie answer that. He was probably the most 
distinguished professor who ever taught theology at the 
University of Edinburgh. He said: “What makes a man a 
Christian is neither his intellectual acceptance of certain ideas, 
nor his conformity to, a certain rule, but his possession of a 
certain Spirit, and his participation in a certain Life.” 

If that makes a man a Christian, then Henry Price is a noble 

- William James— the father of modem psychology — wrote to 
his friend. Professor Thomas Davidson, saying that as tbs years 
went by, he found himself “less and less able to get along with- 
out God.” 

Earlier in this book I mentioned that when the judges tried 


to pick the best story on worry sent in by my students, they 
had so much difficulty in choosing between two outstanding 
stories that the prize money was split. Here is the second story 
that tied for first prize — the unforgettable experience of a 
woman who had to find out the hard way that “she couldn't 
get along without God.” 

I am calling this woman Mary Cushman, although that is 
not her actual name. She has children and grandchildren who 
might be embarrassed to see her story in print, so I agreed 
to disguise her identity. However, the woman herself is real — 
very real. A few months ago, she sat in the armchair beside my 
desk and told me her story. Here is how it goes: 

“During the depression,” she said, “my husband's average 
salary was eighteen dollars a week. Many times we didn't have 
even that because he didn't get paid when he was ill — and 
that was often. He had a series of minor accidents; he also 
had mumps, scarlet fever, and repeated attacks of flu. We lost 
the little house that we had built with our own hands. We owed 
fifty dollars at the grocery store — and had five children to feed. 
I took in washing and ironing from the neighbours, and bought 
second-hand clothes from the Salvation Army store and made 
them over for my children to wear. I made myself ill with 
worry. One day the grocer to whom we owed fifty dollars 
accused my eleven-year-old boy of stealing a couple of pencils. 
My son wept as he told me about it. I knew he was honest 
and sensitive — and I knew that he had been disgraced and 
humiliated in front of other people. That was the straw that 
broke my back. I thought of all the misery we had endured; 
and I couldn't see any hope for the future. I must have 
become temporarily insane with worry, for I shut off my wash- 
ing machine, took my little five-year-ol3 daughter into the bed- 
room, and plugged up the windows and cracks with paper and 
rags. My little girl said to me, 'Mommy, what axe you doing? * 
and I answered, 'There's a little draught in here.' Then I turned 
on the gas heater we had in the bedroom — and didn't light it. 
As I lay down on the bed with my daughter beside me, she 
said, 'Mommy, this is funny — we just got up a little while ago l ‘ 
But I said, 'Never mind, we'll take a little nap/ Then I closed 


my eyes, listening to the gas escape from the heater. I shall 
never forget the smell of that gas. . . . 

“Suddenly I thought I heard music. I listened. I had for 
gotten to turn the radio off in the kitchen. It didn't matter 
now. But the music kept on, and presently I heard someone 
singing an old hymn: 

What a Frimd we have in Jesus, 

All our sins and griefs to bear! 

What a privilege to carry 
Everything to God in prayer. 

Oh, what peace we often forfeit 
Oh, what needless pain we bear 
All because we do not carry 
Everything to God in prayer! 

“As I listened to that hymn, I realised that I had made a 
tragic mistake. I had tried to fight all my terrible battles alone. 
I had not taken everything to God in prayer. ... I jumped 
up, turned off the gas, opened the door, and raised the windows. 

“I wept and prayed all the rest of that day. Only I didn't 
pray for help — instead I poured out my soul in thanksgiving to 
God for the blessings He had given me : five splendid children — 
all of them healthy and fine, strong in body and mind. I 
promised God that never again would I prove so ungrateful. 
And I have kept that promise. 

“Even after we lost our home, and had to move into a little 
country schoolhouse that we rented for five dollars a month, I 
thanked God for that schoolhouse; I thanked Him for the fact 
that I at least had a roof to keep us warm and dry. I thanked 
God honestly that things were not worse — and I believe that 
He heard me. For in time things improved — oh, not overnight; 
but as the depression lightened, we made a little more money. 
I got a job as a hat-check girl in a large country club, and 
sold stockings as a side line. To help put himself through college, 
one of my sons got a job on a farm, milked thirteen cows 
morning and night. Today my children are grown up and 
married; I have three fine grandchildren. And, as I look back 


osd that terrible day when I turned on the gas, I thank God 
over and over that I "woke up' in time. What joys I would 
have missed if 1 had carried out that act 1 How many wonderful 
years I would have forfeited for ever ! Whenever I hear now of 
someone who wants to end his life, I feel like crying out : "Don't 
do it ! Don't ! ' The blackest moments we live through can only 
last a little time — and then comes the future. ..." 

On the average, someone commits suicide in the United 
States every thirty-five minutes. On the average, someone goes 
insane every hundred and twenty seconds. Most of these suicides 
—and probably many of the tragedies of insanity — could have 
.been prevented if these people had only had the solace and 
peace that axe found in religion and prayer. 

One of the most distinguished psychiatrists living. Dr. Carl 
Jung, says in his book Modem Mm m Search of a Soul * 
"During the past thirty years, people from all the civilised 
countries of the earth have consulted me, I have treated many 
hundreds of patients. Among all my patients in the second half 
of life — that is to say, over thirty-five — there has not been one 
whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a 
religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them 
Ml ill because he had lost that which the living religions of 
every age have given to their followers, and none of them has 
been really healed who did not regain his religious outlook," 

That statement is so significant I want to repeat it in bold 

Dr. Carl Jung said: 

6 ‘During the past thirty years, people from all the civilised 
countries of the earth have consulted me. I have treated many 
hundreds of patients. Among all my patients in the second half 
of life— that is to say, over thirty-five — there has not been one 
whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a 
religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them 
fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every 
age have given to their followers, and non© of them has been 
really healed who did not regain his religious outlook.’* 

♦ Kegar Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd. 


William James said approximately the same thing: “Faith 
is one of the forces by which mm live/' he declared, “and the 
toted absence of it means collapse/' 

The late Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Indian leader since 
Buddha, would have collapsed if he had not been inspired by 
the sustaining power of prayer. How do I know? Because 
Gandhi himself said so. " Without prayer/* he wrote, "I should 
have been a lunatic long ago/* 

Thousands of people could give similar testimony. My own 
father — well, as I have already said, my own father would have 
drowned himself had it not been for my mother's prayers and 
faith. Probably thousands of the tortured souls who axe now 
screaming in our insane asylums could have been saved if they 
had only turned to a higher power for help instead of trying to 
fight life's battles alone. 

When we are harassed and reach the limit of our own 
strength, many of us then turn in desperation to God — "There 
are no atheists in foxholes." But why wait till we are des- 
perate? Why not renew our strength every day? Why wait 
even until Sunday? For years I have had the habit of dropping 
into empty churches on weekday afternoons. When I feel that 
I am too rushed and hurried to spare a few minutes to think 
about spiritual things, I say to myself: "Wait a minute, Dale 
Carnegie, wait a minute. Why all the feverish hurry and rush, 
little man? You need to pause and acquire a little perspective/ ' 
At such times, I frequently drop into the first church that I 
find open. Although I am a Protestant, I frequently, on week- 
day afternoons, drop into St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth 
Avenue, and remind myself that I'll be dead in another thirty 
years, but that the great spiritual truths that all churches teach 
are eternal. I dose my eyes and pray. I find that doing this 
calms my nerves, rests my body, clarifies my perspective, 1 and 
helps me revalue my values. May I recommend this practice 
to you? 

During the past six years that I have been writing this book I 
have collected hundreds of examples and concrete cases of how 
mm and women conquered fear and worry by prayer. I have 
in my filing cabinet folders bulging with case histories. Let's 


take as a typical example the story of a discouraged and dis- 
heartened book salesman, John R. Anthony. Mr. Anthony is 
now an attorney in Houston, Texas, with offices in the Humble 
Building. Here is his story as he told it to me. 

“Twenty-two years ago I closed my private law office to 
become state representative of an American law-book company. 
My specialty was selling a set of law-books to lawyers — a set 
of books that were almost indispensable. 

“I was ably and thoroughly trained for the job. I knew all 
the direct sales talks, and the convincing answers to all possible 
objections. Before calling on a prospect, I familiarised myself 
with his rating as an attorney, the nature of his practice, his 
politics and hobbies. During my interview, I used that informa- 
tion with ample skill. Yet, something was wrong, I just 
couldn't get orders I 

“I grew discouraged. As the days and weeks passed, I 
doubled and redoubled my efforts, but was still unable to close 
enough sales to pay my expenses. A sense of fear and dread 
grew within me. I became afraid to call on people. Before I 
could enter a prospect's office, that feeling of dread flared up 
so strong that I would pace up and down the hallway outside 
the door — or go out of the building and circle the block. Then, 
after losing much valuable time and feigning enough courage 
by sheer will power to crash the office door, I feebly turned the 
doorknob with trembling hand — half hoping my prospect would 
not be in l 

“My sales manager threatened to stop my advances if I didn't 
send in more orders. My wife at home pleaded with me for 
money to pay the grocery bill for herself and our three children. 
Worry seized me. Day by day I grew more desperate. I didn't 
know what to do. As I have already said, I had closed my 
private law office at home and given up my clients. Now I 
was broke. I didn't have the money to pay even my hotel bill. 
Neither did I have the money to buy a ticket back home; nor 
did I have the courage to return home a beaten man, even if I 
had had the ticket. Finally, at the miserable end of another bad 
day, I trudged back to my hotel room — for the last time, I 
thought. So fax as I was concerned, I was thoroughly beaten. 


Heartbroken, depressed, I didn't know which way to turn. I 
hardly cared whether I lived or died. I was sorry I had ever 
been bom. I had nothing but a glass of hot milk that night for 
dinner. Even that was more than I could afford. I understood 
that night why desperate men raise a hotel window and jump. 
I might have done it myself if I had had the courage. I began 
wondering what was the purpose of life. I didn't know. I 
couldn't figure it out, 

"Since there was no one else to turn to, I turned to God. I 
began to pray. I implored the Almighty to give me light and 
understanding and guidance through the dark, dense wilderness 
of despair that had closed in about me. I asked God to help me 
get orders for my books and to give me money to feed my wife 
and children. After that prayer, I opened my eyes and saw a 
Gideon Bible that lay on the dresser in that lonely hotel room.* 
I opened it and read those beautiful, immortal promises of 
Jesus that must have inspired countless generations of lonely, 
worried, and beaten men throughout the ages — a talk that Jesus 
gave to His disciples about how to keep from worrying: 

Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye 
shall drink; not yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not 
the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold 
the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, 
nor gather into bams; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. 
Are ye not much better than they? . . . But seek ye first the 
kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things 
shall be added unto you. 

"As I prayed and as I read those words, a miracle happened : 
my nervous tension fell away. My anxieties, fears, and worries 
were transformed into heart-warming courage and hope and 
triumphant faith. 

“I was happy, even though I didn't have enough money to 
pay my hotel bill. I went to bed and slept soundly — free from 
care — as I had not done for many years. 

"Next morning, I could hardly hold myself back until the 
offices of my prospects were open. I approached the office door 
of my first prospect that beautiful, cold, rainy day with a bold 


and positive stride. I turned the doorknob with a him and 
steady grip. As I entered, I made a beeline for my man, 
energetically, chin up, and with appropriate dignity, all smiles, 
and saying, "Good morning, Mr. Smith I Fm John R. Anthony 
of the All-American Lawbook Company 1 ' 

“ 'Oh, yes, yes/ he replied, smiling, too, as he rose from his 
chair with outstretched hand. 'I'm glad to see you. Have a 

"I made more sales that day than I had made in weeks. 
That evening I proudly returned to my hotel like a conquering 
hero! I felt like a new man. And I mas a new man, because 
I had a new and victorious mental attitude. No dinner of hot 
milk that night. No, sir! I had a steak with all the fixin's. 
From that day on, my sales zoomed. 

"I was bom anew that desperate night twenty-on© years ago 
in a little hotel in Amarillo, Texas. My outward situation the 
next day was the same as it had been through my weeks of 
failure, but a tremendous thing had happened inside me. I had 
suddenly become aware of my relationship with God. A mere 
man alone can easily be defeated, but a man alive with the 
power of God within him is invincible. I know. I saw it work 
in my own life. 

“ ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; 
knock, and it shall be opened unto you.' " 

When Mrs. L. G. Beaird, of 1421 8th Street, Highland, 
Illinois, was faced with stark tragedy, she discovered that she 
could find peace and tranquillity by kneeling down and saying, 
"0 Lord, Thy will, not mine, be done/' 

'"One evening our telephone rang," she writes in a letter that 
I have before me now. "It rang fatiijeen times before I had 
the courage to pick up the receiver. I knew it must be the 
hospital, and I was terrified. I feared that our little boy was 
dying. He had meningitis. He had already been given penicillin, 
but it made his temperature fluctuate, and the doctor feared 
that the disease had travelled to his brain and might cause the 
development of a brain tumour — and death. The phone call 
mas just what I feared. The hospital was calling; the doctor 
wanted us to come immediately. 


“Maybe yon can picture the anguish my husband and I went 
through, sitting in the waiting-room. Everyone else had his 
baby, but we sat there with empty arms, wondering if we would 
ever hold our little fellow again. When we were finally called 
into the doctor's private office, the expression on his face filled 
our hearts with terror. His words brought even more terror. 
He told us that there was only once chance in four that our 
baby would live. He said that if we knew another doctor, to 
please call him in on the case. 

“On the way home my husband broke down and, doubling 
up his fist, hit the steering wheel, saying, 'Betts, I can't give 
that little guy up.' Have you ever seen a man cry? It isn't a 
pleasant experience. We stopped the car and, after talking 
things over, decided to stop in church and pray that if it was 
God's will to take our baby, we would resign our will to His. 
I sank in the pew and said with tears rolling down my cheeks, 
'Not my will but Thine be done.' 

“The moment I uttered those words, I felt better. A sense of 
peace that I hadn't felt for a long time came over me. All the way 
home, I kept repeating, ‘O God, Thy will, not mine, be done.' 

“I slept soundly that night for the first time in a week. The 
doctor called a few days later and said that Bobby had passed 
the crisis. I thank God for the strong and healthy four-year-old 
boy we have today." 

I know men who regard religion as something for women 
and children and preachers. They pride themselves on being 
“he-men" who can fight their battles alone. 

How surprised they might be to learn that some of the most 
famous “he-men" in the world pray every day. For example, 
“he-man" Jack Dempsey told me that he never goes to bed 
without saying his prayers. He told me that he never eats a meal 
without first thanking God for it. He told me that he prayed 
every day when he was training for a bout, and that when he 
was fighting, he always prayed just before the bell sounded for 
each round. “Praying," he said, “helped me fight with courage 
and confidence." 

“He-man" Connie Mack told me that he couldn't go to sleep 
without saying Ms prayers. 


“He-man” Eddie Rickenbacker told me that he believed his 
life had been saved by prayer. He prays every day. 

“He-man” Edward R. Stettinius, former high official of 
General Motors and United States Steel, and former Secretary 
of State, told me that he prayed for wisdom and guidance every 
morning and night. 

“He-man” J. Pierpont Morgan, the greatest financier of his 
age, often went alone to Trinity Church, at the head of Wall 
Street, on Saturday afternoons and knelt in prayer. 

When “he-man” Eisenhower flew to England to take 
supreme command of the British and American forces, he took 
only one book on the plane with him — the Bible. 

“He-man” General Mark Clark told me that he read his 
Bible every day during the war and knelt down in prayer. 
So did Chiang Kai-shek, and General Montgomery — “Monty of 
ElAlamein”. So did Lord Nelson at Trafalgar. So did General 
Washington, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and scores of 
other great military leaders. 

These “he-men” discovered the truth of William James's 
statement: “We and God have business with each other; and 
in opening ourselves to His influence, our deepest destiny is 

A lot of “he-men” are discovering that. Seventy-two million 
Americans are church members now — an all-time record. As I 
said before, even the scientists are turning to religion. Take, 
for example, Dr. Alexis Carrel, who wrote Man, the Unknown? 
and won the greatest honour that can be bestowed upon any 
scientist, the Nobel prize. Dr. Carrel said in a Reader's Digest 
article: “Prayer is the most powerful form of energy one can 
generate. It is a force as real as terrestrial gravity. As a 
physician, I have seen men, after all other therapy had failed, 
lifted out of disease and melancholy by the serene effort of 
prayer. . . . Prayer like radium is a source of luminous, self- 
generating energy. ... In prayer, human beings seek to 
augment their finite energy by addressing themselves to the 
Infinite source of all energy. When we pray, we link ourselves 
with the inexhaustible motive power that spins the universe. 
We pray that a part of this power be apportioned to our needs. 


Even in asking, our human deficiencies are filled and we arise 
strengthened and repaired. . . . Whenever we address God 
in fervent prayer, we change both soul and body for the better. 
It could not happen that any man or woman could pray for 
a single moment without some good result/' 

Admiral Byrd knows what it means to "link ourselves with 
the inexhaustible motive power that spins the universe/' His 
ability to do that pulled him through the most trying ordeal o* 
his life. He tells the story in his book Alone * In 1934, he 
spent five months in a hut buried beneath the icecap of Ross 
Barrier deep in the Antarctic. He was the only living creature 
south of latitude seventy-eight. Blizzards roared above his 
shack; the cold plunged down to eighty-two degrees below zero; 
he was completely surrounded by unending night. And then 
he found, to his horror, he was being slowly poisoned by carbon 
monoxide that escaped from his stove! What could he do? 
The nearest help was 123 miles away, and could not possibly 
reach him for several months. He tried to fix his stove and 
ventilating system, but the fumes still escaped. They often 
knocked him out cold. He lay on the floor completely un- 
conscious, He couldn't eat; he couldn’t sleep; he became so 
feeble that he could hardly leave his bunk. He frequently 
feared he wouldn't live until morning. He was convinced he 
would die in that cabin, and his body would be hidden by 
perpetual snows. 

What saved his life? One day, in the depths of his despair, 
he reached for his diary and tried to set down his philosophy 
of life. "The human race," he wrote, "is not alone in the 
universe." He thought of the stars overhead, of the orderly 
swing of the constellations and planets; of how the everlasting 
sun would, in its time, return to lighten even the wastes of the 
South Polar regions. And then he wrote in his diary, "J am 
not alone/* 

This realisation that he was not alone — not even in a hole in 
the ice at the end of the earth — was what saved Richard Byrd. 
"I know it pulled me through," he says. And he goes on to 
add : "Few men in their lifetime come anywhere near exhaust- 
ing the resources dwelling within them. There are deep well- 

* Putnam & Co. Ltd. 


of strength that are never used.” Richard Byrd learned to tap 
those wells of strength and use those resources — by turning 
to God. 

Glenn A. Arnold learned amidst the cornfields of Illinois the 
same lesson that Admiral Byrd learned in the polar icecap. Mr. 
Arnold, an insurance broker in the Bacon Building, Chillicothe, 
Illinois, opened his speech on conquering worry like this: 
“Eight years ago, I turned the key in the lock of my front door 
for what I believed was the last time in my life. I then climbed 
in my car and started down for the river. I was a failure/' 
he said. “One month before, my entire little world had come 
crashing down on my head. My electrical-appliance business 
had gone on the rocks. In my home my mother lay at the 
point of death. My wife was carrying our second child. 
Doctors' bills were mounting. We had mortgaged everything 
we had to start the business — our car and our furniture. I had 
even taken out a loan on my insurance policies. Now every- 
thing was gone. I couldn't take it any longer. So I climbed into 
my car and started for the river — determined to end the sorry 

“I drove a few miles out in the country, pulled off the road, 
and got out and sat on the ground and wept like a child. Then 
I really started to think — instead of going around In frightening 
circles of worry, I tried to think constructively. How bad was 
my situation? Couldn't it be worse? Was it really hopeless? 
What could I do to make it better? 

“I decided then and there to take the whole problem to the 
Lord and ask Him to handle it. I prayed. I prayed hard. 
I prayed as though my very life depended on it — which, in fact, 
it did. Then a strange thing happened. As soon as I turned 
all my problems over to a power greater than myself, I 
immediately felt a peace of mind that I hadn't known in months. 
I must have sat there for half an hour, weeping and praying. 
Then I went home and slept like a child. 

“The next morning, I arose with confidence. I no longer had 
anything to fear, for I was depending on God for guidance. That 
morning I walked into a local department store with my head 
high; and I spoke with confidence as I applied for a job as sales- 


man in the electrical-appliance department. I knew I would get 
a job. And I did. I made good at it until the whole appliance 
business collapsed due to the war. Then I began selling life 
insurance — still under the management of my Great Guide. That 
was only five years ago. Now, all my bills are paid; I have a 
fine family of three bright children; own my own home; have a 
new car, and own twenty-five thousand dollars in life insurance, 

"As I look back, I am glad now that I lost everything and 
became so depressed that I started for the river — because that 
tragedy taught me to rely on God; and I now have a peace and 
confidence that I never dreamed were possible." 

Why does religious faith bring us such peace and calm and 
fortitude? I'll let William James answer that. He says: "The 
turbulent billows of the fretful surface learn the deep parts 
of the ocean undisturbed; and to him mho has a hold on vaster 
and more permanent realities, the hourly mcissitudes of his per- 
sonal destiny seem relatively insignificant things . The really 
religions person is accordingly unshakeable and full of equa- 
nimity , and calmly ready for any duty that the day may bring 
forth , " 

If we are worried and anxious — why not try God? Why not, 
as Immanuel Kant said, "accept a belief in God because we 
need such a belief?" Why not link ourselves now "with the 
inexhaustible motive power that spins the universe"? 

Even if you are not a religious person by nature or training — 
even if you are an out-and-out sceptic — prayer can help you 
much more than you believe, for it is a practical thing. What 
do I mean, practical? I mean that prayer fulfills these three 
very basic psychological needs which all people share, whether 
they believe in God or not: 

1. Prayer helps us to put into words exactly what is troubling 
us. We saw in Chapter 4 that it is almost impossible to deal with 
a problem while it remains vague and nebulous. Praying, in a 
way, is very much like writing our problem down on paper. If 
we ask help for a problem — even from God — we must put it into 

2. Prayer gives us a sense of sharing our burdens, of not 
being alone. Few of us are so strong that we can bear our 

184 the golden rule for conquering worry 

heaviest burdens, our most agonising troubles, all by ourselves. 
Sometimes our worries are of so intimate a nature that we cannot 
discuss them even with our closest relatives or friends. Then 
prayer is the answer. Any psychiatrist will tell us that when we 
are pent-up and tense, and in an agony of spirit, it is thera- 
peutically good to tell someone our troubles. When we can't tell 
anyone else — we can always tell God. 

3. Prayer puts into force an active principle of doing. It's a 
first step toward action. I doubt if anyone can pray for some 
fulfillment, day after day, without benefiting from it — in other 
words, without taking some steps to bring it to pass. A world- 
famous scientist said: “Prayer is the most powerful form of 
energy one can generate." So why not make use of it? Call it 
God or Allah or Spirit — why quarrel with definitions as long as 
the mysterious powers of nature take us in hand? 

Why not close this book right now, go to your bedroom, shut 
the door, kneel down, and unburden your heart? If you have 
lost your religion, beseech Almighty God to renew your faith. 
Say, “Q God, I can no longer fight my battles alone. I need 
Your help. Your love. Forgive me for all my mistakes. Cleanse 
my heart of all evil. Show me the way to peace and quiet and 
health, and fill me with love even for my enemies." 

If you don't know how to pray, repeat this beautiful and 
inspiring prayer written by St. Francis seven hundred years ago: 

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace. Where there is 
hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where 
there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there 
is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. 

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be 
consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to 
be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in 
pardoning, that we are pardoned and it is in dying that we are 
bom to Eternal Life. 



chapter 20: Remember That No One Ever 
Kicks a Dead Dog 

An event occurred in 1929 that created a national sensation in 
educational circles. Learned men from all over America rushed 
to Chicago to witness the affair. A few years earlier, a young 
man by the name of Robert Hutchins had worked his way 
through Yale, acting as a waiter, a lumberjack, a tutor, and a 
clothesline salesman. Now, only eight years later, he was being 
inaugurated as president of the fourth richest university in 
America, the University of Chicago. His age? Thirty, Incred- 
ible! The older educators shook their heads. Criticism came 
roaring down upon this "boy wonder" like a rockslide. He was 
this and he was that — too young, inexperienced — his educational 
ideas were cockeyed. Even the newspapers joined in the attack. 

The day he was inaugurated, a friend said to the father of 
Robert Maynard Hutchins: "I was shocked this morning to 
read that newspaper editorial denouncing your son." 

"Yes," the elder Hutchins replied, "it was severe, but remem- 
ber that no one ever kicks a dead dog." 

Yes, and the more important a dog is, the more satisfaction 
people get in kicking him. The Prince of Wales who later 
became Edward VIII (now Duke of Windsor) had that forcibly 
brought home to him. He was attending Dartmouth College in 
Devonshire at the time — a college that corresponds to the Naval 
Academy at Annapolis. The Prince was about fourteen. One 
day one of the naval officers found him crying, and asked him 
what was wrong. He refused to tell at first, but finally admitted 
the truth: he was being kicked by the naval cadets. The com- 
modore of the college summoned the boys and explained to 
them that the Prince had not complained, but he wanted to find 
out why the Prince had been singled out for this rough treatment, 



After much hemming and hawing and toe scraping, the cadets 
finally confessed that when they themselves became commanders 
and captains in the King's Navy, they wanted to be able to say 
that they had kicked the King! 

So when you are kicked and criticised, remember that it is 
often done because it gives the kicker a feeling of importance. It 
often means that you are accomplishing something and are 
worthy of attention. Many people get a sense of savage satisfac- 
tion out of denouncing those who are better educated than they 
are or more successful. For example, while I was writing this 
chapter, I received a letter from a woman denouncing General 
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army. I had given a 
laudatory broadcast about General Booth; so this woman wrote 
me, saying that General Booth had stolen eight million dollars 
of the money he had collected to help poor people. The charge, 
of course, was absurd. But this woman wasn't looking for truth. 
She was seeking the mean-spirited gratification that she got from 
tearing down someone far above her. I threw her bitter letter 
into the wastebasket, and thanked Almighty God that I wasn't 
married to her. Her letter didn't tell me anything at all about 
General Booth, but it did tell me a lot about her. Schopenhauer 
had said it years ago: 1 'Vulgar people take huge delight in the 
faults and follies of great men." 

One hardly thinks of the president of Yale as a vulgar man; 
yet a former president of Yale, Timothy Dwight, apparently 
took huge delight in denouncing a man who was running for 
President of the United States. The president of Yale warned 
that if this man were elected President, "we may see our wives 
and daughters the victims of legal prostitution, soberly dis- 
honoured, speciously polluted; the outcasts of delicacy and 
virtue, the loathing of God and man/* 

Sounds almost like a denunciation of Hitler, doesn't it? But 
it wasn't. It was a denunciation of Thomas Jefferson. Which 
Thomas Jefferson? Surely not the immortal Thomas Jefferson, 
the author of the Declaration of Independence, the patron saint 
of democracy? Yea, verily, that was the man. 

What American do you suppose was denounced as a "hypo- 
crite", "an imposter", and as "little better than a murderer"? 


A newspaper cartoon depicted him on a guillotine, the big knife 
ready to cut off his head. Crowds jeered at him and hissed 
him as he rode through the street. Who was he? George 

But that occurred a long time ago. Maybe human nature has 
improved since then. Let's see. Let's take the case of Admiral 
Peary — the explorer who startled and thrilled the world by 
reaching the North Pole with dog sleds on April 6, 1909 — a goal 
that brave men for centuries had suffered and died to attain. 
Peary himself almost died from cold and starvation; and eight 
of his toes were frozen so hard they had to be cut off. He was 
so overwhelmed with disasters that he feared he would go insane. 
His superior naval officers in Washington were burned up 
because Peary was getting so much publicity and acclaim. So 
they accused him of collecting money for scientific expeditions 
and then “lying around and loafing in the Arctic." And they 
probably believed it, because it is almost impossible not to 
believe what you want to believe. Their determination to 
humiliate and block Peary was so violent that only a direct order 
from President McKinley enabled Peary to continue his career 
in the Arctic. 

Would Peary have been denounced if he had had a desk job 
in the Navy Department in Washington. No. He wouldn't 
have been important enough then to have aroused jealousy. 

General Grant had an even worse experience than Admiral 
Peary. In 1862, General Grant won the first great decisive 
victory that the North had enjoyed — a victory that was achieved 
in one afternoon, a victory that made Grant a national idol 
overnight — a victory that had tremendous repercussions even in 
far-off Europe — a victory^ that set church bells ringing and bon- 
fires blazing from Maine to the banks of the Mississippi. Yet 
within six weeks after achieving that great victory, Grant-hero 
of the North — was arrested and his army mas taken from him . 
He wef t with humiliation and despair. 

Why was General U. S. Grant arrested at the flood tide of Ms 
victory? Largely because he had aroused the jealousy and envy 
of his arrogant superiors. 



If we are tempted to be worried about unjust criticism, here 
is Rule i : 

Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment. 
Remember that no one ever hicks a dead dog. 



chapter 21: Do This — and Criticism 
Can’t Hurt Ton 

I once interviewed Major-General Smedley Butler — old "Gimlet- 
Eye”. Old "Hell-Devil"' Butler! Remember him? The most 
colourful, swashbuckling general who ever commanded the 
United States Marines. 

He told me that when he was young, he was desperately eager 
to be popular, wanted to make a good impression on everyone. 
In those days the slightest criticism smarted and stung. But he 
confessed that thirty years in the Marines had toughened his 
hide. "I have been berated and insulted," he said, "and de- 
nounced as a yellow dog, a snake, and a skunk, I have been 
cursed by the experts. I have been called every possible com- 
bination of unprintable cuss words in the English language. 
Bother me? Huh! When I hear someone cussing me now, I 
never turn my head to see who is talking." 

Maybe old "Gimlet-Eye" Butler was too indifferent to critic- 
ism; but one thing is sure: most of us take the little jibes and 
javelins that are hurled at us far too seriously. I remember the 
time, years ago, when a reporter from the New York Sun 
attended a demonstration meeting of my adult-education classes 
and lampooned me and my work. Was I burned up? 1 took it 
as a personal insult. I telephoned Gil Hodges, the Chairman of 
the Executive Committee .of the Sun , and practically demanded 
that he print an article staling the facts — instead of ridicule. I 
was determined to make the punishment fit the crime. 

I am ashamed now of the way I acted. I realise now that half 
the people who bought the paper never saw that article. Half of 
those who read it regarded it as a source of innocent merriment. 
Half of those who gloated over it forgot all about it in a few 

I realise now that people are not thinking about you and me 



or caring what is said about us. They are thinking about them- 
selves — before breakfast, after breakfast, and right on until ten 
minutes past midnight. They would be a thousand times more 
concerned about a slight headache of their own than they would 
about the news of your death or mine. 

Even if you and I are lied about, ridiculed, double-crossed, 
knifed in the back, and sold down the river by one out of every 
six of our most intimate friends — let's not indulge in an orgy of 
self-pity. Instead, let's remind ourselves that that's precisely 
what happened to Jesus. One of His twelve most intimate friends 
turned traitor for a bribe that would amount, in our modem 
money, to about nineteen dollars. Another one of His twelve 
most intimate friends openly deserted Jesus the moment He got 
into trouble, and declared three times that he didn't even know 
Jesus — and he swore as he said it. One out of six 1 That is what 
happened to Jesus. Why should you and I expect a better score ? 

I discovered years ago that although I couldn't keep people 
from criticising me unjustly, I could do something infinitely 
more important: I could determine whether I would let the 
unjust condemnation disturb me. 

Let's be clear about this: I am not advocating ignoring all 
criticism. Far from it. I am talking about ignoring only unjust 
criticism . I once asked Eleanor Roosevelt how she handled 
unjust criticism — and Allah knows she's had a lot of it. She 
probably has more ardent friends and more violent enemies 
than any other woman who ever lived in the White House. 

She told me that as a young girl she was almost morbidly shy, 
afraid of what people might say. She was so afraid of criticism 
that one day she asked her aunt, Theodore Roosevelt's sister, 
for advice. She said: “Auntie Bye, I want to do so-and-so. But 
I'm afraid of being criticised." 

Teddy Roosevelt's sister looked her in the eye and said: 
“Never be bothered by what people say, as long as you know 
in your heart you are right." Eleanor Roosevelt told me that 
that bit of advice proved to be her Rock of Gibraltar years later, 
when she was in the White House. She told me that the only 
way we can avoid all criticism is to be like a Dresden-china 
figure and stay on a shelf. “Do what you feel in your heart to 


be right— for you'll be criticised, anyway. You'll be damned 
if you do, and damned if you don't." That is her advice. 

When the late Matthew C. Brush, was president of the 
American International Corporation at 40 Wall Street, I asked 
him if he was ever sensitive to criticism; and he replied, "Yes, 
I was very sensitive to it in my early days. I was eager then to 
have all the employees in the organisation think I was perfect. 
If they didn't, it worried me. I would try to please first one 
person who had been sounding off against me; but the very 
thing I did to patch it up with him would make someone else 
mad. Then when I tried tp fix it up with this person, I would 
stir up a couple of other bumble-bees. I finally discovered that 
the more I tried to pacify and to smooth over injured feelings in 
order to escape personal criticism, the more certain I was to 
increase my enemies. So finally I said to myself, Tf you get 
your head above the crowd, you're going to be criticised. So 
get used to the idea.' That helped me tremendously. From that 
time on I made it a rule to do the very best I could and then put 
up my old umbrella and let the rain of criticism drain off me 
instead of running down my neck." 

Deems Taylor went a bit further: he let the rain of criticism 
run down his neck and had a good laugh over it — in public. 
When he was giving his comments during the intermission of 
the Sunday afternoon radio concerts of the New York Phil- 
harmonic-Symphony Orchestra, one woman wrote him a letter 
calling him "a liar, a traitor, a snake and a moron”. 

On the following week's broadcast, Mr. Taylor read this letter 
over the radio to millions of listeners. In his book, Of Men & 
Music, he tells us that a few days later he received another 
letter from the same lady, "expressing her unaltered opinion 
that I was stiU a liar, a traitor, a snake and a moron. I have a 
suspicion." adds Mr. Taylor, "that she didn't care for that 
talk." We can't keep from admiring a man who takes criticism 
like that. We admire his serenity his, unshaken poise, and his 
sense of humour. 

When Charles Schwab was addressing the student body at 
Princeton, he confessed that one of the most important lessons 
he had ever learned was taught to him by an old German who 


worked in Schwab's steel mill. This old German got involved 
in a hot wartime argument with the other steelworkers, and they 
tossed him into the river. "When he came into my office/' 
Mr. Schwab said, "covered with mud and water, I asked him 
what he had said to the men who had thrown him into the river, 
and he replied: "I yust laughed/ " 

Mr. Schwab declared that he had adopted that old German's 
words as his motto : "Yust laugh." 

That motto is especially good when you are the victim of 
unjust criticism. You can answer the man who answers you 
back, but what can you say to the man who "yust laughs"? 

Lincoln might have broken under the strain of the Civil War 
if he hadn't learned the folly of trying to answer all his savage 
critics. He finally said: "If I were to try to read, much less to 
answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be 
closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how — 
the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the 
end. If the end brings me out all right, then what is said against 
me won't matter. If the end brings me out wrong, then ten 
angels swearing I was right would make no difference." 

When you and I are unjustly criticised, let's remember Rule 2: 

Do the very best you can: and then put up your old umbrella 
and keep the rain of criticism from running down the back of 

your neck. 



chapter 22: Fool Things I Have Done 

I have a folder in my private filing cabinet marked "FID” — 
short for "Tool Things I Have Done”. I put in that folder 
written records of the fool things I have been guilty of. I some- 
times dictate these memos to my secretary, but sometimes they 
are so personal, so stupid, that I am ashamed to dictate them, 
so I write them out in longhand. 

I can still recall some of the criticisms of Dale Carnegie that I 
put in my “FTD” folders fifteen years ago. If I had been 
utterly honest with myself, I would now have a filing cabinet 
bursting out at the seams with these “FID” memos. I 
can truthfully repeat what King Saul said more than twenty 
centuries ago: “I have played the fool and have erred 

When I get out my “FTD” folders and re-read the criticisms 
I have written of myself, they help me deal with the toughest 
problem I shall ever face : the management of Dale Carnegie. 

I used to blame my troubles on other people; but as I have 
grown older — and wiser, I hope — I have realised that I myself, 
in the last analysis, am to blame for almost all my misfortunes. 
Lots of people have discovered that, as they grow older. “No 
one but myself,” said Napoleon at St. Helena, “no one but 
myself can be blamed for my fall. I have been my own greatest 
enemy — the cause of my own disastrous fate.” 

Let me tell you about a man I know who was an artist when it 
came to self-appraisal "and self-management. His name was 
H. P. Howell. When the news of his sudden death in the drug- 
store of the Hotel Ambassador in New York was flashed across 
the nation on July 31, 1944, Wall Street was shocked, for he 
was a leader in American finance — chairman of the board of the 
Commercial National Bank and Trust Company, 56 Wall Street, 
and a director of several large corporations. He grew up with 
little formal education, started out in life clerking in a country 



store, and later became credit manager for U.S. Steel — and was 
on his way to position and power. 

"'For years I have kept an engagement book showing all the 
appointments I have during the day,” Mr. Howell told me when 
I asked him to explain the reasons for his success. “My family 
never makes any plans for me on Saturday night, for the family 
knows that I devote a part of each Saturday evening to self- 
examination and a review and appraisal of my work during the 
week. After dinner I go off by myself, open my engagement 
book, and think over all the interviews, discussions and meet- 
ings that have taken place since Monday morning. I ask myself : 
'What mistakes did I make that time?' 'What did I do that 
was right — and in what way could I have improved my per- 
formance?* 'What lessons can I learn from that experience?* I 
sometimes find that this weekly review makes me very unhappy. 
Sometimes I am astonished by my own blunders. Of course, as 
the years have gone by, these blunders have become less fre- 
quent. This system of self-analysis, continued year after year, 
has done more for me than any other one thing I have ever 

Maybe H. P. Howell borrowed his idea from Ben Franklin. 
Only Franklin didn't wait until Saturday night. He gave him- 
self a severe going-over every night. He discovered that he had 
thirteen serious faults. Here are three of them: wasting time, 
stewing around over trifles, arguing and contradicting people. 
Wise old Ben Franklin realised that, unless he eliminated these 
handicaps, he wasn't going to get very far. So he battled with 
one of his shortcomings every day for a week, and kept a record 
»f who had won each day's slugging match. The next day, he 
would pick out another bad habit, put on the gloves, and when 
the bell rang he would come out of his comer fighting. Franklin 
kept up this battle with his faults every week for more than two 

No wonder he became one of the best-loved and most in- 
fluential men America ever produced ! 

Elbert Hubbard said: “Every man is a damn fool for at least 
five minutes every day. Wisdom consists in not exceeding that 



The small man flies into a rage over the slightest criticism, but 
the wise man is eager to learn from those who have censured him 
and reproved him and "disputed the passage with him". Walt 
Whitman put it this way: "Have you learned lessons only of 
those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood 
aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those 
who rejected you, and braced themselves against you, or dis- 
puted the passage with you?" 

Instead of waiting for our enemies to criticise us or our work, 
let's beat them to it. Let's be our own most severe critic. Let's 
find and remedy all our weaknesses before our enemies get a 
chance to say a word. That is what Charles Darwin did. In fact, 
he spent fifteen years criticising — well, the story goes like this : 
When Darwin completed the manuscript of his immortal book. 
The Origin of Species , he realised that the publication of his 
revolutionary concept of creation would rock the intellectual 
and religious worlds. So he became Ms own critic and spent 
another fifteen years, checking his data, challenging his reason- 
ing, criticising his conclusions. 

Suppose someone denounced you as "a damn fool" — what 
would you do? Get angry? Indignant? Here is what Lincoln 
did: Edward M. Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War, once 
called Lincoln "a damn fool". Stanton was indignant because 
Lincoln had been meddling in his affairs. In order to 
please a selfish politician, Lincoln had signed an order transfer- 
ring certain regiments. Stanton not only refused to carry out 
Lincoln's orders but swore that Lincoln was a damn fool for 
ever signing such orders. What happened? When Lincoln was 
told what Stanton had said, Lincoln calmly replied : "If Stanton 
said I was a damned fool, then I must be, for he is nearly always 
right. I'll just step over and see for myself." 

Lincoln did go to see Stanton. Stanton convinced him that 
the order was wrong, and Lincoln withdrew it. Lincoln wel- 
comed criticism when he knew it was sincere, founded on know- 
ledge, and given in a spirit of helpfulness. 

You and I ought to welcome that kind of criticism, too, for 
we can't even hope to be right more than three times out of 
four. At least, that was all Theodore Roosevelt said he could 


hope for, when he was in the White House. Einstein, the most 
profound thinker now living, confesses that his conclusions are 
wrong ninety-nine per cent of the time ! 

'The opinions of our enemies/' said La Rochefoucauld, 
"come nearer to the truth about us than do our own opinions," 

I know that statement may be true many times; yet when any- 
one starts to criticise me, if I do not watch myself, I instantly 
and automatically leap to the defensive — even before I have the 
slightest idea what my critic is going to say. I am disgusted 
with myself every time I do it. We all tend to resent criticism 
and lap up praise, regardless of whether either the criticism or 
the praise be justified. We are not creatures of logic. We are 
creatures of emotions. Our logic is like a canoe tossed about on 
a deep, dark, stormy sea of emotion. Most of us have a pretty 
good opinion of ourselves as we are now. But in forty years 
from now, we may look back and laugh at the persons we are 

William Allen White — "the most celebrated small-town news- 
paper editor in history" — looked back and described the young 
man he had been fifty years earlier as "swell-headed ... a fool 
with a lot of nerve ... a supercilious young Pharisee ... a 
complacent reactionary." Twenty years from now maybe you 
and I may be using similar adjectives to describe the persons we 
are today. We may .... Who knows? 

In previous chapters, I have talked about what to do when 
you are un justly criticised. But here is another idea : when your 
anger is rising because you feel you have been unjustly con- 
demned, why not stop and say: "Just a minute. ... I am 
far from perfect. If Einstein admits he is wrong ninety-nine 
per cent of the time, maybe I am wrong at least eighty per cent 
of the time. Maybe I deserve this criticism. If I do, I ought to 
be thankful for it, and try to profit by it." 

Charles Luckman, president of the Pepsodent Company, 
spends a million dollars a year putting Bob Hope on the air. 
He doesn't look at the letters praising the programme, but he 
insists on seeing the critical letters. He knows he may learn 
something from them. 

The Ford Company is so eager to find out what is wrong with 


its management and operations that it recently polled the em- 
ployees and invited them to criticise the company. 

I know a former soap salesman who used even to ask for 
criticism. When he first started out selling soap for Colgate, 
orders came slowly., He worried about losing his job. Since he 
knew there was nothing wrong with the soap or the price, he 
figured that the trouble must be himself. When he failed to 
make a sale, he would often walk around the block trying to 
figure out what was wrong. Had he been too vague? Did he 
lack enthusiasm? Sometimes he would go back to the merchant 
and say : “I haven't come back here to try to sell you any soap. 
I have come back to get your advice and your criticism. Won't 
you please tell me what I did that was wrong when I tried to 
sell you soap a few minutes ago? You are far more experienced 
and successful’ than I am. Please give me your criticism. Be 
frank. Don't pull your punches." 

This attitude won him a lot of friends and priceless advice. 

What do you suppose happened to him? Today, he is 
president of the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Soap Company — the 
world's largest makers of soap. His name is E. H. Little. Last 
year, only fourteen people in America had a larger income than 
he had: $240,141. 

It takes a big man to do what H. P. Howell, Ben Franklin, 
and E. H. Little did. And now, while nobody is looking, why 
not peep into the mirror and ask yourself whether you belong in 
that kind of company 1 

To keep from worrying about criticism, here is Rule 3. 

Let’s keep a record of the fool things we have done and criticise 
ourselves. Since we can’t hope to he perfect, let’s do what E. H. 
Little did: let’s ask for unbiased, helpful, constructive criticism* 




Rule x : Unjust criticism is often a disguised 
compliment. It often means that you 
have aroused jealousy and envy. Re- 
member that no one ever kicks a dead 

Rule 2: Do the very best you can; and then 
put up your old umbrella and keep the 
rain of criticism from running down 
the back of your neck. 

Rule 3 : Let's keep a record of the fool things 
we have done and criticise ourselves. 
Since we can't hope to be perfect, 
let's do what E. H. Little did: let's 
ask for unbiased, helpful, constructive 



chapter 23: How to Add One Hour a Day 
to Tour Waking Life 

Why am I writing a chapter on preventing fatigue in a book on 
preventing worry? That is simple: because fatigue often pro- 
duces worry, or, at least, it makes you susceptible to worry. Any 
medical student will tell you that fatigue lowers physical resist- 
ance to the common cold and hundreds of other diseases and any 
psychiatrist will tell you that fatigue also lowers your resistance 
to the emotions of fear and worry. So preventing fatigue tends 
to prevent worry. 

Did I say “tends to prevent worry''? That is putting it 
mildly. Dr. Edmund Jacobson goes much further. Dr. Jacob- 
son bias written two books on relaxation : Progressive Relaxation 
and You Must Relax; and as director of the University of 
Chicago Laboratory for Clinical Physiology, he has spent years 
conducting investigations in using relaxation as a method in 
medical practice. He declares that any nervous or emotional 
state "fails to exist in the presence of complete relaxation". 
That is another way of saying : You cannot continue to worry if 
you relax . 

So, to prevent fatigue and worry, the first rule is : Rest often.- 
Rest before you get tired. 

Why is that so important? Because fatigue accumulates with 
astonishing rapidity. The United States Army has discovered 
by repeated tests that even young men — men toughened by 
years of Army training — can march better, and hold up longer, 
if they throw down their packs and rest ten minutes out of every 
hour. So the Army forces them to do just that. Your heart is 
just as smart as the U.S. Army. Your heart pumps enough blood 
through your body every day to fill a railway tank car. It exerts 
enough energy every twenty-four hours to shovel twenty tons 



of coal on to a platform three feet high. It does this incredible 
amount of work for fifty, seventy, or maybe ninety years. How 
can it stand it? Dr. Walter B. Cannon, of the Harvard Medical 
School, explains it. He says : * 'Most people have the idea that 
the heart is working all the time. As a matter of fact, there is 
a definite rest period after each contraction. When beating at a 
moderate rate of seventy pulses per minute, the heart is actually 
working only nine hours out of the twenty-four. In the aggregate 
its rest periods total a full fifteen hours per day/' 

During World War II, Winston Churchill, in his late sixties 
and early seventies, was able to work sixteen hours a day, year 
after year, directing the war efforts of the British Empire. A 
phenomenal record. His secret? He worked in bed each morn- 
ing until eleven o'clock, reading papers, dictating orders, making 
telephone calls, and holding important conferences. After lunch, 
he went to bed once more and slept for an hour. In the even- 
ing he went to bed once more and slept for two hours before 
having dinner at eight. He didn't cure fatigue. He didn't have 
to cure it. He prevented it. Because he rested frequently, he 
was able to work on, fresh and fit, until long past midnight. 

The original John D. Rockefeller made two extraordinary 
records. He accumulated the greatest fortune the world had 
ever seen up to that time and he also lived to be ninety-eight. 
How did he do it? The chief reason, of course, was because he 
had inherited a tendency to live long. Another reason was his 
habit of taking a half-hour nap in bis office every noon. He 
would lie down on his office couch — and not even the President 
of the United States could get John D. on the phone while he 
was having his snooze ! 

In his excellent book. Why Be Tired, Daniel W. Josselyn 
observes: "Rest is not a matter of doing absolutely nothing. 
Rest is repair/' There is so much repair power in a short period 
of rest that even a five-minute nap will help to forestall fatigue l 
Connie Mack, the grand old man of baseball, told me that if 
he doesn’t take an afternoon nap before a game, he is all 
tuckered out at around the fifth inning. But if he does go to 
sleep, if for only five minutes, he can last throughout an entire 
double-header without feeling tired. 


When I asked Eleanor Roosevelt how she was able to cany 
such an exhausting schedule during the twelve years she was 
in the White House, she said that before meeting a crowd or 
making a speech, she would often sit in a chair or davenport, 
close her eyes, and relax for twenty minutes. 

I recently interviewed Gene Autiy in his dressing-room at 
Madison Square Garden, where he was the star attraction at the 
world's championship rodeo. I noticed an army cot in his 
dressing-room. “I lie down there every afternoon/' Gene Autry 
said, "and get an hour's nap between performances. When I 
am making pictures in Hollywood," he continued, "I often 
relax in a big easy chair and get two or three ten-minute naps 
a day. They buck me up tremendously." 

Edison attributed his enormous energy and endurance to his 
habit of sleeping whenever he wanted to. 

I interviewed Henry Ford shortly before his eightieth birth- 
day. I was surprised to see how fresh and fine he looked. I 
asked him the secret. He said, "I never stand up when I can 
sit down; and I never sit down when I can lie down." 

Horace Mann, "the father of modem education", did the 
same thing as he grew older. When he was president of Antioch 
College, he used to stretch out on a couch while interviewing 

I persuaded a motion-picture director in Hollywood to try a 
similar technique. He confessed that it worked miracles. I refer 
to Jack Chertock, who is now one of Metro-Gold wyn-Mayer's 
top directors. When he came to see me a few years ago, he was 
then head of the short-feature department of M-G-M. Worn out 
and exhausted, he had tried everything: tonics, vitamins, 
medicine. Nothing helped much. I suggested that he take a 
vacation every day. How? By stretching out in his office and 
relaxing while holding conferences with his staff writers. 

When I saw him again, two years later, he said, "A miracle 
has happened. That is what my own physicians call it. I used 
to sit up in my chair, tense and taut, while discussing ideas 
for our short features. Now I stretch out on the office couch 
during these conferences. I feel better than I have felt in twenty 
years. Work two hours a day longer, yet I rarely get tired." 


How does all this apply to you? If you are a stenographer, 
you can’t take naps in the office as Edison did, and as Sam 
Goldwyn does; and if you are an accountant, you can't stretch 
out on the couch while discussing a financial statement with the 
boss. But if you live in a small city and go home for lunch, 
you may be able to take a ten-minute nap after lunch. That 
is what General George C. Marshall used to do. He felt he 
was so busy directing the U.S. Army in wartime that he hud 
to rest at noon. If you are over fifty and feel you are too 
rushed to do it, then buy immediately all the life insurance 
you can get. Funerals come high — and suddenly — these days; 
and the little woman may want to take your insurance money 
and marry a younger man ! 

If you can't take a nap at noon, you can at least try to lie 
down for an hour before the evening meal. It is cheaper than 
a highball; and, over a long stretch, it is 5,467 times more 
effective. If you can sleep for an hour around five, six, or seven 
o'clock, you can add one hour a day to your waking life. 
Why? How? Because an hour's nap before the evening meal 
plus six hours' sleep at night — a total of seven hours— will do 
you more good than eight hours of unbroken sleep. 

A physical worker can do more work if he takes more time 
out for rest. Frederick Taylor demonstrated that while work- 
ing as a scientific management engineer with the Bethlehem 
Steel Company. He observed that labouring men were loading 
approximately 12J tons of pig-iron per man each day on freight 
cars and that they were exhausted at noon. He made a scientific 
study of all the fatigue factors involved, and declared that these’ 
men should be loading not 12J tons of pig-iron per day, but 
forty-seven tons per day! He figured that they ought to do 
almost four times as much as they were doing, and not be 
exhausted. But prove it I 

Taylor selected a Mr. Schmidt who was required to work by 
the stop-watch. Schmidt was told by the man who stood over 
him with a watch, “Now pick up a ‘pig' and walk. . . . Now 
sit down and rest. . . , Now walk. , . . Now rest," 

What happened? Schmidt carried forty-seven tons of pig** 
iron each day while the other men carried only 12J tons per 


man. And he practically never failed to work at this pace 
during the three years that Frederick Taylor was at Bethlehem. 
Schmidt was able to do this because he rested before he got 
tired. He worked approximately 26 minutes out of the hour 
and rested 34 minutes. He rested more than he worked — yet he 
did almost four times as much work as the others! is this 
mere hearsay? No, you can read the record yourself in 
Principles of Scientific Management by Frederick Winslow 

Let me repeat : do what the Army does — take frequent rests. 
Do what your heart does — rest before you get tired, and you 
will add one hour a day to your waking life. 



chapter 24: What Makes You Tired — and 
What You Can do about It 

Here is an astounding and significant fact : Mental work alone 
can't make you tired. Sounds absurd. But a few years ago, 
scientists tried to find out how long the human brain could 
labour without reaching “a diminished capacity for work", the 
scientific definition of fatigue. To the amazement of these 
scientists, they discovered that blood passing through the brain, 
when it is active, shows no fatigue at ail I If you took blood 
from the veins of a day labourer while he was working, you 
would find it full of ' 'fatigue toxins" and fatigue products. 
But if you took a drop of blood from the brain of an Albert 
Einstein, it would show no fatigue toxins whatever at the end 
of the day. 

So far as the brain is concerned, it can work "as well and as 
swiftly at the end of eight or even twelve hours of effort as 
at the beginning." The brain is utterly tireless. ... So what 
makes you tired? 

Psychiatrists declare that most of our fatigue derives from 
our mental and emotional attitudes. One of England's most 
distinguished psychiatrists, J. A. Hadfield, says in his book 
The Psychology of Power, "the greater part of the fatigue from 
which we suffer is of mental origin; in fact exhaustion of purely 
physical origin is rare." 

One of America's most distinguished^ psychiatrists, Dr. A. A. 
Brill, goes even further. He declares, "One hundred per cent 
of the fatigue of the sedentary worker in good health is due 
to psychological factors, by which we mean emotional factors." 

What kinds of emotional factors tire the sedentary (or sitting) 
worker? Joy? Contentment? Nol Never! Boredom, resent- 
ment, a feeling of not being appreciated, a feeling of futility, 
hurry, anxiety, worry — those are the emotional factors that 




exhaust the sitting worker, make him susceptible to colds, 
reduce his output, and send him home with a, nervous headache. 
Yes, we get tired because our emotions produce nervous tensions 
in the body. 

The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company pointed that out in 
a leaflet on fatigue: “Hard work by itself," says this great life- 
insurance company, “seldom causes fatigue which cannot be 
cured by a good sleep or rest. . . . Worry, tenseness, and 
emotional upsets are three of the biggest causes of fatigue. 
Often they are to blame when physical or mental work seems 
to be the cause. . . . Remember that a tense muscle is a 
working muscle. Ease up l Save energy for important 

Stop now, right where you are, and give yourself a check-up* 
As you read these' lines, are you scowling at the book? Do 
you feel a strain between the eyes? Are you sitting relaxed 
in your chair? Or are you hunching up your shoulders? Are 
the muscles of your face tense? Unless your entire body is as 
limp and relaxed as an old rag doll, you are at this veiy moment 
producing nervous tensions and muscular tensions. You are 
producing nervous tensions and nervous fatigue! 

Why do we produce these unnecessary tensions in doing 
mental work? Josselyn says: “I find that the chief obstacle 
... is the almost universal belief that hard work requires a 
feeling of effort, else it is not well done." So we scowl when 
we concentrate. We hunch up our shoulders. We call on our 
muscles to make the motion of effort, which in no way assists 
our brain in its work. 

Here is an astonishing and tragic truth: millions of people 
who wouldn't dream of wasting dollars go right on wasting and 
squandering their energy with the recklessness of seven drunken 
sailors in Singapore. 

What is the answer to this nervous fatigue? Relax! Relax! 
Relax ! Learn to relax while you are doing your work! 

Easy? No. You will probably have to reverse the habits of a 
lifetime. But it is worth the effort, for it may revolutionise your 
life! William James said, in his essay “The Gospel of Relaxa- 
tion" : “The American over-tension and jerkiness and breath- 

206 SI‘X ways to prevent fatigue and worry 

lessness and intensity and agony of expression ... are bad 
habits , nothing more or less." Tension is a habit . Relaxing 
is a habit . And bad habits can be broken , gooi habits 
formed . 

How do you relax? Do you start with your mind, or do you 
start with your nerves? You don't start with either. You 
always begin to relax with your muscles! 

Let's give it a try. To show how it is done, suppose we 
start with your eyes. Read this paragraph through, and when 
you've reached the end, lean back, close your eyes, and say to 
your eyes silently, "Let go. Let go. Stop straining, stop frown- 
ing. Let go. Let go." Repeat that over and over very slowly 
for a minute. . . . 

Didn't you notice that after a few seconds the muscles of 
the eyes began to obey? Didn't you feel as though some hand 
had wiped away the tension? Well, incredible as it seems, 
you have sampled in that one minute the whole key and secret 
to the art of relaxing. You can do the same thing with the 
jaw, with the muscles of the face, with the neck, with the 
shoulders, the whole of the body. But the most important organ 
of all is the eye. Dr. Edmund Jacobson of the University of 
Chicago has gone so far as to say that if you can completely 
relax the muscles of the eyes, you can forget all your trembles! 
The reason the eyes are so important in relieving nervous tension 
is that they bum up one-fourth of all the nervous energies 
consumed by the body. That is also why so many people with 
perfectly sound vision suffer from "eyestrain". They are 
tensing the eyes, 

Vicki Baum, the famous novelist, says that when she was a 
child, she met an old man who taught her one of the most 
Important lessons she ever learned. She had fallen down and 
cut her knees and hurt her wrist. The old man picked her 
up; he had once been a circus clown; and, as he brushed her 
off, he said: "The reason you injured yourself was because 
you don't know how to relax. You have to pretend you are as 
limp as a sock, as an old crumpled sock. Come, I'll show yon 
how to do it." 

That old man taught Vicki Baum and the other children how 



to fall, how to do flip-flops, and how to turn somersaults. And 
always he insisted, “Think of yourself as an old crumpled sock. 
Then you've got to relax! " 

You can relax in odd moments, almost anywhere y6u are. 
Only don't make an effort to relax. Relaxation is the absence 
of all tension and effort . Think ease and relaxation. Begin 
by thinking relaxation of the muscles of your eyes and your face, 
saying over and over, “Let go ... let go ... let go and 
relax." Feel the energy flowing out of your facial muscles to 
the centre of your body. Think of yourself as free from tension 
as a baby. 

That is what Gafli-Curci, the great soprano, used to do. 
Helen Jepson told me that she used to see Galli-Curci before a 
performance, sitting in a chair with all her muscles relaxed and 
her lower jaw so limp it actually sagged. An excellent practice — 
it kept her from becoming too nervous before her stage entrance; 
it prevented fatigue. 

Here are five suggestions that will help you leam to relax: 

1. Read one of the best books ever written on this subject : 
Release from Nervous Tension , by Dr. David Harold Fink. 

2. Relax in odd moments. Let your body go limp like an 
old sock. I keep an old, maroon-coloured sock on my desk as, 
I work— keep it there as a reminder of how limp I ought to be. 
If you haven't got a sock, a cat will do. Did you ever pick up 
a kitten sleeping in the sunshine? If so, both ends sagged like 
a wet newspaper. Even the yogis in India say that if you want 
to master the art of relaxation, study the cat. I never saw a 
tired cat, a cat with a nervous breakdown, or a cat suffering 
from insomnia, worry, or stomach ulcers. You will probably 
avoid these disasters if you leam to relax as the cat s does. 

3. Work, as much as possible, in a comfortable position 
Remember that tensions on the body produce aching shoulders 
and nervous fatigue. 

4. Check yourself four or five times a day, and say to your- 
self, “Am I making my work harder than it actually is? Am 
I using muscles that have nothing to do with the work I am 
doing?" This will help you form the habit of relaxing, and as 



Dr. David Harold Fink says, " Among those who know 
psychology best, it is habits two to one.” 

5. Test yourself again at the end of the day, by asking your- 
self, "Just how tired am I? If I am tired, it is not because 
of the mental work I have done but because of the way I have 
done it.” "I measure my accomplishments,” says Daniel W. 
Josselyn, "not by how tired I am at the end of the day, but 
how tired I am not.” He says, "When I feel particularly tired 
at the end of the day, or when irritability proves that my nerves 
are tired, I know beyond question that it has been an inefficient 
day both as to quantity and quality.” If every business man 
would learn that same lesson, the death rate from "hyper- 
tension” diseases would drop overnight. And we would stop 
filling up our sanatoriums and asylums with men who have 
been broken by fatigue and worry. 



chapter 25: How the Housewife Can Avoid 
Fatigue — and Keep Looking Toung 

One day last autumn, my associate flew up to Boston to attend 
a session of one of the most unusual medical classes in the 
world. Medical? Well, yes, it meets once a week at the Boston 
Dispensary, and the patients who attend it get regular and 
thorough medical examinations before they are admitted. But 
actually this class is a psychological clinic. Although it is 
officially called the Class in Applied Psychology (formerly the 
Thought Control Class — a name suggested by the first member), 
its real purpose is to deal with people who are ill from worry , 
And many of these patients are emotionally disturbed house- 

How did such a class for worriers get started? Well, in 
1930, Dr. Joseph H. Pratt — who, by the way, had been a pupil 
of Sir William Osier — observed that many of the outpatients 
who came to the Boston Dispensary apparently had nothing 
wrong with them at all physically; yet they had practically 
all the symptoms that flesh is heir to. One woman’s hands were 
so crippled with ‘‘arthritis'' that she had lost all use of them. 
Another was in agony with all the excruciating symptoms of 
“cancer of the stomach". Others had backaches, headaches, 
were chronically tired, or had vague aches and pains. They 
actually felt these fains. But the most exhaustive medical 
examinations showed tiiat nothing whatever was wrong with 
these women — -in the physical sense. Many old-fashioned 
doctors would have said it was all imagination— “all in the 

But Dr. Pratt realised that it was no use to tell these patients 
to ‘ ‘go home and forget it" . He knew that most of these women 
didn't want to be sick; if it was so easy to forget their ailments, 
they would do so themselves. So what could be done? 



He opened his class — to a chorus of doubts from the medical 
doubters on the sidelines. And the class worked wonders I In 
the eighteen years that have passed since it started, thousands 
of patients have been "cured” by attending it. Some of the 
patients have been coming for years — as religious in their 
attendance as though going to church. My assistant talked to a 
woman who had hardly missed a session in more than nine 
years. She said that when she first went to the clinic, she was 
thoroughly convinced she had a floating kidney and some kind 
of heart ailment. She was so worried and tense that she occa- 
sionally lost her eyesight and had spells of blindness. Yet to- 
day she is confident and cheerful and in excellent health. She 
looked only about forty, yet she held one of her grandchildren 
asleep in her lap. "I used to worry so much about my family 
troubles," she said, "that I wished I could die. But I learned 
at this clinic the futility of worrying. I learned to stop it. And 
1 can honestly say now that my life is serene.” 

Dr. Rose Hilferding, the medical adviser of the class, said 
that she thought one of the best remedies for lightening worry 
is "talking your troubles over with someone you trust. We 
call it catharsis,” she said. "When patients come here, they 
can talk their troubles over at length, until they get them off 
their minds. Brooding over worries alone, and keeping them 
to oneself, causes great nervous tension. We all have to share 
our troubles. We have to share worry* We have to feel there 
is someone in the world who is willing to listen and able to 

My assistant witnessed the great relief that came to one 
woman from talking out her worries. She had domestic worries, 
and when she first began to talk, she was like a wound-up 
spring. Then gradually, as she kept on talking, she began to 
calm down. At the end of the interview, she was actually 
smiling. Had the problem been solved? No, it wasn't that 
easy. What caused the change was talking to someone , getting 
a little advice and a little human sympathy. What had really 
worked the change was the tremendous healing value that lies 
in — words/ 

Psycho-analysis is based, to some extent, on this healing 


power of words. Ever since the days of Freud, analysts have 
known that a patient could find relief from Ms inner anxieties 
if he could talk, just talk. Why is this so? Maybe because 
by talking, we gain a little better insight into our troubles, 
get a better perspective. No one knows the whole answer. But 
all of us know that "spitting it out" or "getting it off our 
chests", brings almost instant relief. 

So the next time we have an emotional problem, why don't 
we look around for someone to talk to? ‘I don't mean, of course, 
to go around making pests of ourselves by whining and com- 
plaining to everyone in sight. Let's decide on someone we can 
trust, and make an appointment. Maybe a relative, a doctor, a 
lawyer, a minister, or priest. Then say to that person: "I want 
your advice. I have a problem, and I wish you would listen 
while I put it in words. You may be able to advise me. You 
may see angles to this thing that I can't see myself. But even 
if you can't, you will help me tremendously if you will just sit 
and listen while I talk it out." 

However, if you honestly feel that there is no one you can 
talk to, then let me tell you about the Save-a-Life League — it 
has no connection with the Boston Dispensary. The Save-a- 
Life League is one of the most unusual leagues in the world. 
It was originally formed to save possible suicides. But as the 
years went on, it expanded its scope to give spiritual counsel 
to those who are unhappy and in emotional need. I talked for 
some time to Miss Lona B. Bonnell, who interviews people who 
come for advice to the Save-a-Life League. She told me that 
she would be glad to answer letters from readers of this book. 
If you write to the Save-a-Life League, 505 Fifth Avenue, New 
York City, your letter and your troubles will be held in strictest 
cQnfidence. Frankly, I would advise you to go to someone you 
can talk to in person if you can, for that will give you greater 
relief. But if that is out of the question, then why not write 
to tMs league? ■$ 

Talking things <mt, then, is one of the principle therapies used 
at the Boston Dispensary Class. But here are some other ideas 
we picked up at the class — things you, as a housewife, can do 
in your home. 



1. Keep a notebook or scrapbook for "inspirational** reading . 
Into this book you can paste all the poems, or short prayers, 
or quotations, which appeal to you personally and give you 
a lift. Then, when a rainy afternoon sends your spirits 
plunging down, perhaps you can find a recipe in this book 
for dispelling the gloom. Many patients at the Dispensary 
have kept such notebooks for years. They say it is a 
spiritual “shot in the arm"’. 

2. Don't dwell too long on the shortcomings of others! Sure, 
your husband has faults ! If he had been a saint, he never 
would have married you. Right? One woman at the class 
who found herself developing into a scolding, nagging, and 
haggard-faced wife, was brought up short with the ques- 
tion: “What would you do if your husband died?” She 
was so shocked by the idea that she immediately sat down 
and drew up a list of all her husband's good points. She 
made quite a list. Why don't you try the same thing the 
next tune you feel you married a tight-fisted tyrant? Maybe 
•you'll find, after reading his virtues, that he's a man you'd 
like to meet! 

3, Get interested in your neighbours! Develop a friendly, 
healthy interest in the people who share the life on your 
street. One ailing woman who felt herself so “exclusive" 
that she hadn't any friends, was told to try to make up a 
story about the next person she met. She began, in the 
street-car, to weave backgrounds and settings for the people 
she saw. She tried to imagine what their lives had been 
like. First thing you know, she was talking to people every- 
where — and today she is happy, alert, and a charming 
human being cured of her “pains". 

4, Make up a schedule for tomorrow' s work before you go to 
bed tonight . The class found that many wives feel driven 
and harassed by the unending round of housework and 
things they must do. The^ never got their work finished. 
They were chased by the clock. To cure this sense of hurry, 
and worry, the suggestion was made that they draw up a 
schedule each night for the following day. What happened ? 
More work accomplished; much less fatigue; a feeling of 


pride and achievement; and time left over to rest and to 
* ‘primp* * . (Every woman ought to take some time out in the 
course of the day to primp and look pretty. My own guess 
is that when a woman knows she looks pretty, she has little 
use for "nerves'*.) 

Finally — avoid tension and fatigue* Relax! Relax! Nothing 
will make you look old sooner than tension and fatigue.- 
Nothing will work such havoc with your freshness and 
looks I My assistant sat for an hour in the Boston Thought 
Control Class, while Professor Paul £. Johnson, the 
director, went over many of the principles we have already 
discussed in the previous chapter — the rules for relaxing. 
At the end of ten minutes of these relaxing exercises, which 
my assistant did with the others, she was almost asleep 
sitting upright in her chair ! Why is such stress laid on 
this physical relaxing? Because the clinic knows — as other 
doctors know — that if you're going to get the worry-kinks 
out of people, they've got to relax 1 

Yes, you, as a housewife, have got to relax! You have one 
great advantage — you can lie down whenever you want to, and 
you can lie on the floor! Strangely enough, a good hard floor 
is better to relax on than an inner-spring bed. It gives more 
resistance. It is good for the spine. 

All right, then, here are some exercises you can do in your 
home. Try them for a week — and see what you do feu your 
looks and disposition I 

a. Lie flat on the floor whenever you feel tired. Stretch as 
tall as you can. Roll around if you want to. Do it twice a day. 

b . Close your eyes. You might try saying, as Professor 
Johnson recommended, something like thus: "The sun is shinin g 
overhead. The sky is blue and sparkling. Nature is calm and 
in control of the world — and I# as nature's child, am in tune 
with the Universe." Or — better still — pray ! 

c. If you cannot lie down, because the roast is in the oven 
and you can't spare the time, then you can achieve almost 
the same effect sitting down in a chair. A hard* upright chair 


is the best for relaxing. Sit upright in the chair like a seated 
Egyptian statue, and let your hands rest, palms down, on the 
tops of your thighs. 

d. Now, slowly tense the toes — then let them relax. Tense 
the muscles in your legs — and let them relax. Do this slowly 
upward, with all the muscles of your body, until you get to the 
neck. Then let your head roll around heavily, as though it were 
a football. Keep saying to your muscles (as in the previous 
chapter) "Let go ... let go . . ” 

e. Quiet your nerves with slow, steady breathing. Breathe 
from deep down. The yogis of India were right: rhythmical 
breathing is one of the best methods ever discovered for soothing 
the nerves. 

f. Think of the wrinkles and frowns in your face, and smooth 
them all out. Loosen up the worry-creases you feel between 
your brows, and at the sides of your mouth. Do this twice a 
day, and maybe you won't have to go to a beauty parlour to 
get a massage. Maybe the lines will disappear from the inside 
out l 



chapter zb: Four Good Working Habits That 
Will Help Prevent Fatigue and Worry 

Good Working Habit No. 1: Clear Your Desk of All Papers 
Except Those Relating to the Immediate Problem at Hand . 

Roland L. Williams, President of Chicago and North-western 
Railway, says, “A person with his desk piled high with papers 
on various matters will find his work much easier and more 
accurate if he clears that desk of all but the immediate problem 
on hand. I call this good housekeeping, and it is the number- 
one step towards efficiency/' 

If you visit the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., 
you will find five words painted on the ceiling — five words 
written by the poet Pope : 

* 'Order is Heaven's first law." 

Order ought to be the first law of business, too. But is it? 
No, the average business man's desk is cluttered up with papers 
that he hasn't looked at for weeks. In fact, the publisher of 
a New Orleans newspaper once told me that his secretary cleared 
up one of his desks and found a typewriter that had been miss- 
ing for two years! 

The mere sight of a desk littered with unanswered mail and 
reports and memos is enough to breed confusion, tension, and 
worries. It is much worse than that. The constant reminder 
of "a million things to do and no time to do them" can worry 
you not only into tension and fatigue, but it can also worry 
you into high blood pressure, heart trouble, and stomach ulcers. 

Dr. John H. Stokes, professes, Graduate School of Medicine, 
University of Pennsylvania, read a paper before the National 
Convention of the American Medical Association — a paper 
entitled "Functional Neuroses as Complications of Organic 
Disease". In that paper. Dr. Stokes listed eleven conditions 





under the title: "What to Look for in the Patient's State of 
Mind.” Here is the first item on that list: 

''The sense of must or obligation; the unending stretch of 
things ahead that simply have to be done/' 

But how can such an elementary procedure as clearing your 
desk and making decisions help you avoid this high pressure, 
this sense of must, this sense of an "unending stretch of things 
ahead that simply have to be done”? Dr. William L. Sadler, 
the famous psychiatrist, tells of a patient who, by using this 
simple device, avoided a nervous breakdown. The man was 
an executive in a big Chicago firm. When he came to Dr. 
Sadler's office, he was tense, nervous, worried. He knew he was 
heading for a tailspin, but he couldn't quit work. He had to 
have help, 

"While this man was telling me his story,” Dr. Sadler says, 
"my telephone rang. It was the hospital calling; and, instead 
of deferring the matter, I took time right then to come to a 
decision. I always settle questions, if possible, right on the 
spot. I had no sooner hung up than file phone rang again. 
Again an urgent matter, which I took time to discuss. The 
third interruption came when a colleague of mine came to my 
office for advice on a patient who was critically ill. When I had 
finished with him, I turned to my caller and began to apologise 
for keeping him waiting. But he had brightened up. He had 
a completely different look on his face.” 

"Don't apologise, doctor! ” this man said to Sadler. "In the 
last ten minutes, I think I've got a hunch as to what is wrong 
with me. I'm going back to my office and revise my working 
habits. . . . But before I go, do you- mind if I take a look in 
your desk? ” 

Dr. Sadler opened up the drawers of his desk. All empty — 
except for supplies. "Tell me,” said the patient, "where do you 
keep your unfinished business? ” 

"Finished!" said Sadler. 

"And where do you keep your unanswered mail?” 

"Answered!” Sadler told him. "My rule is never to lay 


down a letter until I have answered it. I dictate the reply to 
my secretary at once.” 

Six weeks later, this same executive invited Dr. Sadler to 
come to his office. He was changed — and so was his desk. 
He opened the desk drawers to show there was no unfinished 
business inside of the desk. “Six weeks ago,” this executive 
said, “I had three different desks in two different offices — 
and was snowed under by my work. I was never finished. 
After talking to you, I came back here and cleared out a wagon- 
load of reports and old papers. Now I work at one desk, settle 
things as they come up, and don't have a mountain of un- 
finished business nagging at me and making me tense and 
worried. But the most astonishing thing is I've recovered com- 
pletely. There is nothing wrong any more with my health ! '' 

Charles Evans Hughes, former Chief Justice of the United 
States Supreme Court, said: “Men do not die from overwork. 
They die from dissipation and worry.” Yes, from dissipation 
of their energies — and worry because they never seem to get 
their work done. 

Good Working Habit No. 2: Do Things in the Order of Their 

Importance . 

Hemy L. Dougherty, founder of the nation-wide Cities 
Service Company, said that regardless of how much salary he 
paid, there were two abilities he found it almost impossible to 

Those two priceless abilities are: first , the ability to think . 
Second , the ability to do things in the order of their importance . 

Charles Luckman, the lad who started from scratch and 
climbed in twelve years to’president of the Pepsodent Company, 
got a salary of a hundred thousand dollars a year, and made a 
million dollars besides — that lad declares that he owes much 
of Ms success to developing the two abilities that Henry L. 
Dougherty said he found almost impossible to find. Charles 
Luckman said: “As far back as I can remember, I have got 
up at five o'clock in the morning because I can think better 
then than any other time — I can think better then and plan 



my day, plan to do things in the order of their importance.” 

Franklin Bettger, one of America's most successful insurance 
salesmen, doesn't wait until five o'clock in the morning to plan 
his day. He plans it the night before — sets a goal for himself — 
a goal to sell a certain amount of insurance that day. If he fails, 
that amount is added to the next day — and so on. 

I know from long experience that one is not always able to 
do things in the order of their importance, but I also know that 
some kind of plan to do first things first is infinitely better 
than extemporising as you go along. 

If George Bernard Shaw had not made it a rigid rule to do 
first things first, he would probably have failed as a writer 
and might have remained a bank cashier all his life. His plan 
called for writing five pages each day. That plan and his 
dogged determination to carry it through saved him. That 
plan inspired him to go right on writing five pages a day for nine 
heartbreaking years, even though he made a total of only thirty 
dollars in those nine years — about a penny a day. 

Good Working Habit No. 3: When You Face a Problem, Solve 
It Then and There if You Have the Facts Necessary to Make a 
Decision . Don't Keep Putting off Decisions . 

One of my former students, the late H. P. Howell, told me 
that when he was a member of the board of directors of U.S. 
Steel, the meetings of the board were often long-drawn-out 
affairs — many problems were discussed, few decisions were 
made. The result: each member of the board had to carry 
home bundles of reports to study. 

Finally, Mr, Howell persuaded the board of directors to take 
up one problem at a time and come to a decision. No pro- 
crastination — no putting off. The decision might be to ask for 
additional facts; it might be to do something or do nothing. 
But a decision was reached on each problem before passing 
on to the next. Mr. Howell told me that the results were 
striking and salutary: the docket was cleared. The calendar 
was dean. No longer was it necessary for each member to carry 
home a bundle of reports. No longer was there a worried sense 
of unresolved problems. 


A good rule, not only for the board of directors of U.S. Steel, 
but for you and me. 

Good Working Habit No. 4: Learn to Organise , Deputise, and 

Supervise . 

Many a business man is driving himself to a premature grave 
because he has never learned to delegate responsibility to others, 
insists on doing everything himself. Result: details and con- 
fusion overwhelm him. He is driven by a sense of hurry, worry, 
anxiety, and tension. It is hard to learn to delegate responsi- 
bilities. I know. It was hard for me, awfully hard. I also 
know from experience the disasters that can be caused by 
delegating authority to the wrong people. But difficult as it 
is to delegate authority, the executive must do it if he is to 
avoid worry, tension, and fatigue. 

The man who builds up a big business, and doesn't learn to 
organise, deputise, and supervise, usually pops off with heart 
trouble in his fifties or early sixties — heart trouble caused by 
tension and worries. Want a specific instance? Look at the 
death notices in your local paper. 



chapter 27: How to Banish the Boredom That 
Produces Fatigue, Worry , dnd Resentment 

One of the chief causes of fatigue is boredom. To illustrate, let's 
take the case of Alice, a stenographer who lives on your street. 
Alice came home one night utterly exhausted. She acted 
fatigued. She was fatigued. She had a headache. She had a 
backache. She was so exhausted she wanted to go to bed with- 
out waiting for dinner. Her mother pleaded. . . . She sat 
down at the table. The telephone rang. The boy friend l An 
invitation to a dance! Her eyes sparkled. Her spirits soared. 
She rushed upstairs, put on her Alice-blue gown, and danced 
until three o'clock in the morning; and when she finally did 
get home, she was not the slightest bit exhausted. She was, 
in fact, so exhilarated she couldn't fail asleep. 

Was Alice really and honestly tired eight hours earlier, when 
she looked and acted exhausted? Sure she was. She was 
exhausted because she was bored with her work, perhaps bored 
with life; There are millions of Alices. You may be one of 

It is a well-known fact that your emotional attitude usually 
has far more to do with producing fatigue than has physical 
exertion. A few years ago, Joseph E. Barmack, Ph.D., pub- 
lished in the Archives of Psychology a report of some of his 
experiments showing how boredom produces fatigue. Dr. 
Barmack put a group of students through a series of tests in 
which, he knew, they could have little interest. The result? 
The students felt tired and sleepy, complained of headaches 
and eyestrain, felt irritable. In some cases, even their stomachs 
were upset. Was it all "imagination”? No. Metabolism tests 
were taken of these students. These tests showed that the blood- 
pressure of the body and the consumption of oxygen actually 
decrease when a person is bored, and that the whole metabolism 




picks up immediately as soon as he begins to feel interest and 
pleasure in his work ! 

We rarely get tired when we are doing something interesting 
and exciting. For example, I recently took a vacation in the 
Canadian Rockies up around Lake Louise. I spent several days 
trout fishing along Corral Creek, fighting my way through brush 
higher than my head, stumbling over logs, struggling through 
fallen timber — yet after eight hours of this, I was not exhausted. 
Why? Because I was excited, exhilarated. I had a sense of 
high achievement : six cut-throat trout. But suppose I had been 
bored by fishing, then how do you think I would have felt? 
I would have been worn out by such strenuous work at an 
altitude of seven thousand feet. 

Even in such exhausting activities as mountain climbing, 
boredom may tire you far more than the strenuous work in- 
volved. For example, Mr. S. H. Kingman, president of the 
Farmers and Mechanics Savings Bank of Minneapolis, told me 
of an incident that is a perfect illustration of that statement. 
In July, 1943, the Canadian government asked the Canadian 
Alpine Club to furnish guides to train the members of the Prince 
of Wales Rangers in mountain climbing. Mr. Kingman was one 
of the guides chosen to train these soldiers. He told me how 
he and the other guides — men ranging from forty-two to fifty- 
nine years of age — took these young army men on long hikes 
across glaciers and snow fields and up a sheer cliff of forty feet, 
where they had to climb with ropes and tiny foot-holds and 
precarious hand-holds. They climbed Michael's Peak, the Vice- 
President Peak, and other unnamed peaks in the Little Yoho 
Valley in the Canadian Rockies. After fifteen hours of mountain 
climbing, these young men, who were in the pink of condition 
(they had just finished a Mx-week course in tough Commando 
training), were utterly exhausted. 

Was their fatigue caused by using muscles that had not been 
hardened by Commando training? Any man who had ever 
been through Commando training would hoot at such a 
ridiculous question 1 No, they were utterly exhausted because 
they were bored by mountain climbing. They were so tired 
that many of them fell asleep without waiting to eat. But the 


guides — men who were two and three times as old as the 
soldiers — were they tired? Yes, but not exhausted. The guides 
ate dinner and stayed up for hours, talking about the day's 
experiences. They were not exhausted because they were 

When Dr. Edward Thorndike of Columbia was conducting 
experiments in fatigue, he kept young men awake far almost a 
week by keeping them constantly interested. After much in- 
vestigation, Dr. Thorndike is reported to have said: '‘Boredom 
is the only real cause of diminution of work/' 

If you are a mental worker, it is seldom the amount of work 
you do that makes you tired. You may be tired by the amount 
of work you do not do. For example, remember the day last 
week when you were constantly interrupted. No letters 
answered. Appointments broken. Trouble here and there. 
Everything went wrong that day. You accomplished nothing 
whatever, yet you went home exhausted — and with a splitting 

The next day everything clicked at the office. You 
accomplished forty times more than you did the previous day. 
Yet you went home fresh as a snowy-white gardenia. You have 
had that experience. So have I. 

The lesson to be learned? Just this: our fatigue is often 
caused not by work, but by worry, frustration, and resentment. 

While writing this chapter, I went to see a revival of Jerome 
Kern's delightful musical comedy. Show Boat. Captain Andy, 
captain of the Cotton Blossom , says, in one of his philosophical 
interludes: "The lucky folks are the ones that get to do the 
things they enjoy doing." Such folk are lucky because they 
have more energy, more happiness, less worry, and less fatigue. 
Where your interests are, there is youf energy also. Walking ten 
blocks with a nagging wife can be more fatiguing than walking 
ten miles with an adoring sweetheart. 

And so what? What can you do about it? Well, here is what 
one stenographer did about it — a stenographer working for an 
oil company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. For several days each month, 
she had one of the dullest jobs imaginable: filling out printed 
farms for oil leases, inserting figures and statistics* This task 


was so boring that she resolved, in self-defence, to make it 
interesting. How? She had a daily contest with herself. She 
counted the number of forms she filled out each morning, and 
then tried to excel that record in the afternoon. She counted 
each day's total and tried to better it the next day. Result? 
She was soon able to fill out more of these dull printed forms 
than any other stenographer in her division. And what did 
all this get her? Praise? No. . . . Thanks? No. . . . Pro- 
motion? No. . . . Increased pay? No. . . . Rut it did help 
to prevent the fatigue that is spawned by boredom. It did give 
her a mental stimulant. Because she had done her best to make 
a dull job interesting, she had more energy, more zest, and got 
far more happiness out of her leisure hours. I happen to know 
this story is true, because I married that girl. 

Here is the story of another stenographer who found it paid 
to act as if her work were interesting. She used to fight her 
work. But no more. Her name is Miss VaJlie G. Golden, and 
she lives at 473 South Kenilworth Avenue, Elmhurst, Illinois. 
Here is her story, as she wrote it to me: 

"There axe four stenographers in my office and each of us is 
assigned to take letters from several men. Once in a while we 
get jammed up in these assignments; and one day, when an 
assistant department head insisted that I do a long letter over, 
I started to rebel. I tried to point out to him that the letter 
could be corrected without being retyped — and he retorted that 
if I didn't do it over, he would find someone else who would ! 

I was absolutely fuming I But as I started to retype this letter, 
it suddenly occurred to me that there were a lot of other people 
w fi° ^ jump at the chance to do the work I was doing. 
Also* that I was being paid a salary to do just that work. 

I began to feel better. *1 suddenly made up my mind, to do 
my work as if I actually enjoyed it — even though I despised 
it. Then I made this important discovery: if I do my work 
as if I really enjoy it, then I do enjoy it to some extent. I also 
found I can work faster when I enjoy my work. So there is 
seldom any need now for me to work overtime. This new 
a/ttitude of mine gained me the reputation of being a good 
worker. And when one of the department superintendents 


needed a private secretary, he asked for me for the job — 
because, he said, I was willing to do extra work without being 
sulky 1 This matter of the power of a changed mental attitude/' 
wrote Miss Golden, "has been a tremendously important dis- 
covery to me. It has worked wonders I ' ’ 

Without perhaps being conscious of it, Miss Valhe Golden was 
using the famous "as if" philosophy. William James counselled 
us to act "as if" we were brave, and we would be brave; and 
to act "as if" we were happy, and we would be happy, and 
so on. 

Act "as if" you were interested in your job, and that bit of 
acting will tend to make your interest real. It win also tend 
to decrease your fatigue, your tensions, and your worries. 

A few years ago, Harlan A. Howard made a decision that 
completely altered his life. He resolved to make a dull job 
interesting — and he certainly had a dull one: washing plates, 
scrubbing counters, and dishing out ice-cream in the high- 
school lunch-room while the other boys were playing ball or 
kidding the girls. Harlan Howard despised his job — but since 
he had to stick to it, he resolved to study ice-cream — how it 
was made, what ingredients were used, why some ice-creams 
were better than others. He studied the chemistry of ice-cream, 
and became a whiz in the high-school chemistry course. He 
was so interested now in food chemistry that he entered the 
Massachusetts State College and majored in the field of "food 
technology". When the New York Cocoa Exchange offered 
a hundred-dollar prize for the best paper on uses of cocoa and 
chocolate — a prize open to all college students — who do you 
suppose won it? . . . That's right. Harlan Howard, yfe, 

When he found it difficult to get a job, he opened “a private 
laboratory in the basement of his home at 750 North Pleasant 
Street, Amherst, Massachusetts. Shortly after that, a new law^~.- 
was passed. The bacteria in milk had to be counted. Harlan " 
Howard was soon counting bacteria for the fourteen milk corhat 
panies in Amherst — and he had to hire two assistants. an 

Where will he be twenty-five years from now? Well, the 
who are now running the business of food chemistry will bed 
retired then, or dead; and their places will be taken by youngk 



lads who are now radiating initiative and enthusiasm. Twenty- 
five years from now, Harlan A. Howard will probably be one 
of the leaders in his profession, while some of his class-mates 
to whom he used to sell ice-cream over the counter will be 
sour, unemployed, cursing the government, and complaining 
that they never had a chance. Harlan A. Howard might never 
have had a chance, either, if he hadn't resolved to make a dull 
job interesting. 

Years ago, there was another young man who was bored with 
his dull job of standing at a lathe, turning out bolts in a factory. 
His first name was Sam. Sam wanted to quit, but he was afraid 
he couldn't find another job. Since he had to do this dull work, 
Sam decided he wpuld make it interesting. So he ran a race 
with the mechanic operating a machine beside him. One of 
them was to trim oft the rough surfaces on his machine, and 
the other was to trim the bolts down to the proper diameter. 
They would switch machines occasionally and see who could 
turn out the most bolts. The foreman, impressed with Sam's 
speed and accuracy, soon gave him a better job. That was the 
start of a whole series of promotions. Thirty years later, Sam — 
Samuel Vauclain— was president of the Baldwin Locomotive 
Works. But he might have remained a mechanic all his life 
if he had not resolved to make a dull job interesting. 

H. V. Kaltenbom — the famous radio news analyst — once told 
me how he made a dull job interesting. When he was twenty- 
two years old, he worked his way across the Atlantic on a cattle 
boat, feeding and watering the steers. After making a bicycle 
tour of England, he arrived in Paris, hungry and broke. Pawn- 
ing his camera for five dollars, he put an ad. in the Paris 
edition of The New York Herald and got a job selling 
steropticon machines. If you axe forty years old, you may 
remember those old-fashioned stereoscopes that we used to hold 
up before our eyes to look at two pictures exactly alike. As we 
topked, a miracle happened. The two lenses in the stereoscope 
fransformed the two pictures into a single scene with the effect 
Iff a third dimension. We saw distance. We got an astound- 
tug sense of perspective. 

! Well, as I was saying, Kaltenbom started out selling these 


machines from door to door in Paris — and he couldn't speak 
French, But he earned five thousand dollars in commissions 
the first year, and made himself one of the highest-paid sales- 
men in France that year. H. V. Kaltenbom told me that this 
experience did as much to develop within him the qualities 
that make for success as did any single year of study at 
Harvard. Confidence? He told me himself that after that ex- 
perience, he felt he could have sold The Congressional Record 
to French housewives. 

That experience gave him an intimate understanding of 
French life that later proved invaluable in interpreting, on the 
radio, European events. 

How did he manage to become an expert salesman when he 
couldn't speak French? Well, he had his employer write out his 
sales talk in perfect French, and he memorised it. He would 
ring a door-bell, a housewife would answer, and Kaltenbom 
would begin repeating his memorised sales talk with an accent 
so terrible it was funny. He would show the housewife his 
pictures, and when she asked a question, he would shrug his 
shoulders and say, "An American ... an American." He 
would then take off his hat and point to a copy of the sales 
talk in perfect French that he had pasted in the top of his 
hat. The housewife would laugh, he would laugh — and show 
her more pictures. When H. V. Kaltenbom told me about this, 
he confessed that the job had been far from easy. He told me 
that there was only one quality that pulled him through: his 
determination to make the job interesting. Every morning 
before he started out, he looked into the mirror and gave himself 
a pep talk : “Kaltenbom, you have to do this if you want to mt» 
Since you have to do it — why not have a good time doing it? 
Why not imagine every time you ring a doorbell that you are 
m actor before the footlights and that there's an audience out 
there looking at you . After odd, what you are doing is fust as 
funny as something on the stage . So why not put a lot of zest 
and enthusiasm into it?" 

Mr, Kaltenbom told me that these daily pep talks helped him 
transform a task that he had once hated and dreaded into an 
adventure that he liked and made highly profitable. 



When I asked Mr. Kaltenhom if he had any advice to give to 
the young men of America who are eager to succeed, he said : 
“Yes, go to bat with yourself every morning. We talk a lot 
about the importance of physical exercise to wake us up out of 
the half-sleep in which so many of us walk around. But we 
need, even more, some spiritual and mental exercises every 
morning to stir us into action. Give yourself a pep talk every 

Is giving yourself a pep talk every day silly, superficial, 
childish? No, on the contrary, it is the very essence of sound 
psychology. ‘'Our life is what our thoughts make it.” Those 
words are just as true today as they were eighteen centuries ago 
when Marcus Aurelius first wrote them in his book of Medita- 
tions: “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” 

By talking to yourself every hour of the day, you can direct 
yourself to think thoughts of courage and happiness, thoughts 
of power and peace. By talking to yourself about the things 
you have to be grateful for, you can fill your mind with thoughts 
that soar and sing. 

By thinking the right thoughts, you can make any job less 
distasteful. Your boss wants you to be interested in your job 
so that he will make more money. But let's forget about what 
the boss wants. Think only of what getting interested in your 
job will do for you. Remind yourself that it may double the 
amount of happiness you get out of life, for you spend about 
one half of your waking hours at your work, and if you don't 
find happiness in your work, you may never find it anywhere. 
Keep reminding yourself that getting interested in your job will 
take your mind off your worries, and, in the long run, will 
probably bring promotion and increased pay. Even if it doesn't 
do that, it will reduce' fatigue to a minimum and help you 
enjoy your hours of leisure. 



chapter 28: How to Keep from Worrying 
about Insomnia 

Do you worry when you can't sleep well? Then it may interest 
you to know that Samuel Untermyer — the famous international 
lawyer — never got a decent night's sleep in his life. 

When Sam Untermyer went to college, he worried about two 
aiflictions— astlima and insomnia. He couldn't seem to cure 
either, so he decided to do the next best thing — take advantage 
of his wakefulness. Instead of tossing and turning and worry- 
ing himself into a breakdown, he would get up and study. The 
result? He began ticking off honours in all of his classes, and 
became one of the prodigies of the College of the City of New 

Even after he started to practice law, his insomnia continued. 
But Untermyer didn't worry. "Nature," he said, "will take 
care of me." Nature did. In spite of the small amount of sleep 
he was getting, his health kept up and he was able to work as 
hard as any of the young lawyers of the New York Bar. He 
even worked harder, for he worked while they slept ! 

At the age of twenty-one, Sam Untermyer was earning 
seventy-five thousand dollars a year; and other young attorneys 
rushed to courtrooms to study his methods. In 1931, he was 
paid — for handling one case — what was probably the highest 
lawyer's fee in all history : a cool million dollars — cash on the 

Still he had insomnia — read half the night — and then got up 
at five a.m. and started dictating letters. By the time most 
people were just starting work, his day's work would be almost 
half done. He lived to the age of eighty-one, this man who had 
rarely had a sound night's sleep; but if he had fretted and 
worried about his insomnia, he would probably have wrecked 
Ms life. 



We spend a third of our lives sleeping — yet nobody knows 
what sleep really is. We know it is a habit and a state of rest 
in which nature knits up the ravelled sleeve of care, but we 
don't know how many hours of sleep each individual requires. 
We don't even know if we have to sleep at all I 

Fantastic? Well, during the First World War, Paul Kem, a 
Hungarian soldier, was shot through the frontal lobe of his 
brain. He recovered from the wound, but, curiously enough, 
couldn't fall asleep. No matter what the doctors did-— and they 
tried all kinds of sedatives and narcotics, even hypnotism — 
Paul Kem couldn't be put to sleep or even made to feel drowsy. 

The doctors said he wouldn't live long. But he fooled them. 
He got a job, and went on living in the best of health for years. 
He would lie down and close his eyes and rest, but he got no 
sleep whatever. His case was a medical mystery that upset 
many of our beliefs about sleep. 

Some people require far more sleep than others. Toscanini 
needs only five hours a night, but Calvin Coolidge needed more 
than twice that much. Coolidge slept eleven hours out of every 
twenty-four. In other words, Toscanini has been sleeping away 
approximately one-fifth of his life, while Coolidge slept away 
almost half of his life. 

Worrying about insomnia will hurt you far more than in- 
somnia. For example, one of my students — Ira Sandner, of 
173 Overpeck Avenue, Ridgefield Park, New Jersey — was 
driven nearly to suicide by chronic insomnia. 

“I actually thought I was going insane," Ira Sandner told 
me. "The trouble was, in the beginning, that I was too sound 
a sleeper. I wouldn't wake up when the alarm clock went off, 
and the result was that I was getting to work late in the morn- 
ing. I worried about it-a-and, in fact, my boss warned me that 
I would have to get to work on time. I knew that if I kept on 
oversleeping, I would lose my job. 

"I told my friends about it, and one of them suggested I con- 
centrate hard on the alarm-clock before I went to sleep. That 
started the insomnia! The tick-tick-tick of that blasted alarm 
clock became an obsession. It kept me awake, tossing, all night 
long! When morning came, I was almost ill. I was ill from 


fatigue and worry. This kept on for eight weeks. I can't put 
into words the tortures I suffered. I was convinced I was going 
insane. Sometimes I paced the floor for hours at a time, and 
I honestly considered jumping out of the window and ending 
the whole thing 1 

“At last I went to a doctor I had known all my life. He said : 
Tra, I can't help you. No one can help you, because you have 
brought this thing on yourself. Go to bed at night, and if you 
can't fall asleep, forget ail about it. Just say to yourself, “I 
don't care a hang if I don't go to sleep. It's all right with me 
if I lie awake till morning." Keep your eyes closed and say, “As 
long as I just lie still and don't worry about it. I'll be getting 
rest, anyway." ' 

“I did that," says Sandner, “and in two weeks' time I was 
dropping off to sleep. In less than one month, I was sleeping 
eight hours, and my nerves were back to normal." 

It wasn't insomnia that was killing Ira Sandner; it was his 
worry about it. 

Dr. Nathaniel Kleitaan, professor at the University of 
Chicago, has done more research work on sleep than has any 
other living man. He is the world's expert on sleep. He declares 
that he has never known anyone to die from insomnia. To be 
sure, a man might worry about insomnia until he lowered his 
vitality and was swept away by germs. But it was the worry 
that did the damage, not the insomnia itself. 

Dr. Kleitman also says that the people who worry about 
insomnia usually sleep far more than they realise. The man 
who swears “I never slept a wink last night" may have slept 
for hours without knowing it. For example, one of the most 
profound thinkers of the nineteenth century, Herbert Spencer, 
was an old bachelor, lived in a boarding house, and bored 
everyone with his talk about his insomnia. He even put “stop- 
pings" in his ears to keep out the noise and quiet his nerves. 
Sometimes he took opium to induce sleep. One night he and 
Professor Sayce of Oxford shared the same room at a hotel. 
The next morning Spencer declared he hadn't slept a wink 
afl night. In reality, it was Professor Sayce who hadn't slept 
a wink. He had been kept awake all night by Spencer's snoring. 


The first requisite for a good night's sleep is a feeling of 
security. We need to feel that some power greater than our- 
selves will take care of us until morning. Dr, Thomas Hyslop, 
of the Great West Riding Asylum, stressed that point in an 
address before the British Medical Association. He said; 4 ‘One 
of the best sleep-producing agents which my years of practice 
have revealed to me — is prayer. I say this purely as a medical 
man. The exercise of prayer, in those who habitually exert it, 
must be regarded as the most adequate and normal of all the 
pacifiers of the mind and calmers of the nerves." 

"Let God — and let go." 

Jeanette MacDonald told me that when she was depressed and 
worried and had difficulty in going to sleep, she could always 
get "a feeling of security" by repeating Psalm xxiii: "The 
Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to He 
down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still 
waters. ..." 

But if you are not religious, and have to do things the hard 
way, then learn to relax by physical measures. Dr. David 
Harold Fink, who wrote Release from Nervous Tension , says 
that the best way to do this is to talk to your body. According 
to Dr. Fink, words are the key to all kinds of hypnosis; and 
when you consistently can't sleep, it is because you have talked 
yourself into a case of insomnia. The way to undo this is to 
dehypnotise yourself — and you can do it by saying to the 
muscles of your body, "Let go, let go — loosen up and relax." 
We already know that the mind and nerves can't relax while 
the muscles are tense — so if we want to go to sleep, we start 
with the muscles. Dr. Fink recommends — and it works out in 
practice — that we put a pillow under the knees to ease the 
tension on the legs, and that we tuck small pillows under the 
arms for the very same reason. Then, by telling the jaw to 
relax, the eyes, the arms, and the legs, we finally drop off to 
sleep before we know what has hit us. I've tried it — I know. 
If you have trouble sleeping, get hold of Dr. Fink's book, 
Release from Nervous Tension , which I have mentioned earlier. 
It is the only book I know of that is both lively reading and a 
cure for insomnia. 


One of the best cures for insomnia is making yourself physi- 
cally tired by gardening, swimming, tennis, golf, ski-ing, or by 
just plain physically exhausting work. That is what Theodore 
Dreiser did. When he was a struggling young author, he was 
worried about insomnia, so he got a job working as a section 
hand on the New York Central Railway; and after a day of 
driving spikes and shovelling gravel, he was so exhausted that 
he could hardly stay awake long enough to eat. 

If we get tired enough, nature will force us to sleep even 
while we are walking. To illustrate, when I was thirteen years 
old, my father shipped a carload of fat hogs to Saint Joe, 
Missouri. Since he got two free railroad passes, he took me 
along with him. Up until that time, I had never been in a town 
of more than four thousand. When I landed in Saint Joe — a 
city of sixty thousand — I was agog with excitement. I saw sky- 
scrapers six storeys high and — wonder of wonders — I saw a 
street-car. I can close my eyes now and still see and hear that 
street-car. After the most thrilling and exciting day of my life, 
Father and I took a train back to Raven wood, Missouri. 
Arriving there at two o'clock in the morning, we had to walk 
four miles home to the farm. And here is the point of the story : 
I was so exhausted that I slept and dreamed as I walked. I 
have often slept while riding horseback. And I am alive to 
tell itl 

When men are completely exhausted they sleep right through 
the thunder and horror and danger of war. Dr. Foster 
Kennedy, the famous neurologist, tells me that during the 
retreat of the ^Fifth British Army in 1918, he saw soldiers so 
exhausted that" they fell on the ground where they were and 
fell into a sleep as sound as a coma. They didn't even wake up 
when he raised their eyelids with his fingers. And he says he 
noticed that invariably the pupils of the eyes were rolled up- 
ward in the sockets. * 'After that," says Dr. Kennedy, "when 
I had trouble sleeping, I would practice rolling up my eyeballs 
into this position, and I found that in a few seconds I would 
begin to yawn and feel sleepy. It was an automatic reflex 
over which I had no control." 

No man ever committed suicide by refusing to sleep and no 


one ever will. Nature would force a man to sleep in spite of all 
his will power. Nature will let us go without food or water far 
longer than she will let us go without sleep. 

Speaking of suicide reminds me of a case that Dr. Henry C. 
Link describes in his book, The Rediscovery of Man . Dr. Link 
is vice-president of The Psyschological Corporation and he inter- 
views many people who are worried and depressed. In his 
chapter ‘‘On Overcoming Fears and Worries”, he tells about 
a patient who wanted to commit suicide. Dr. Link knew argu- 
ing would only make the matter worse, so he said to this man, 
“If you are going to commit suicide anyway, you might at least 
do it in a heroic fashion. Run around the block until you drop 

He tried it, not once but several times, and each time felt 
better, in his mind if not in his muscles. By the third night 
he had achieved what Dr. Link intended in the first place — he 
was so physically tired (and physically relaxed) that he slept 
like a log. Later he joined an athletic club and began to com- 
pete in competitive sports. Soon he was feeling so good he 
wanted to live for ever ! 

So, to keep from worrying about insomnia, here are five 

1. If you can’t sleep, do what Samuel Untermyer did. Get up 

and work or read until you do feel sleepy. 

2. Remember that no one was ever killed by lack of sleep. 
Worrying about insomnia usually causes far more damage 

than sleeplessness. 

3. Try prayer— or repeat Psalm XXIII, as Jeanette MacDonald 


4. Relax your body. R'ead the book “Release from Nervous 


5. Exercise. Get yourself so physically tired you can’t stay 





Rule i: 

Rest before you get tired* 

Rule 2: 

Learn to relax at your work. 

Rule 3: 

If you are a housewife, protect your health 
and appearance by relaxing at home. 

Rule 4: 

Apply these four good working habits: 

a. Clear your desk of all papers except 
those relating to the immediate problem at 

b. Do things in the order of their im- 

c. When you face a problem, solve it 
then and there if you have the facts neces- 
sary to make a decision. 

d. Learn to organise, deputise, and 

Rule 5: 

To prevent worry and .fatigue, put enthusi- 
asm into your work. 

Rule 6: 

Remember, no one was ever killed by lack 
of sleep. It is worrying about insomnia that 
does the damage — not the insomnia* 



chapter 29: The Major Decision of Tour Life 

(This chapter is addressed to young men and women 
who haven't yet found the work they want to do. If 
you are in that category, reading this chapter may 
have a profound effect upon the remainder of your 

If you are under eighteen, you will probably soon be called 
upon to make the two most important decisions of your life — 
decisions that will profoundly alter all the days of your years; 
decisions that may have far-reaching effects upon your happi- 
ness, your income, your health; decisions that may make or 
break you. 

What are these two tremendous decisions? 

First: How are you going to make a living? Are you going 
to be a farmer, a mail carrier, a chemist, a forest ranger, a 
stenographer, a horse doctor, a college professor, or are you 
goin to run a hamburger stand? 

Second. Whom are you going to select to be the -father or 
mother of your, children? 

Both of those great decisions are frequently gambles. ''Every 
boy/' says Harry Emerson Fosdick in his book. The Power 
to See It Through , "every boy is a gambler when he chooses 
a vocation. He must stake his life on it." 

How can you reduce the gamble in selecting a vocation? 
Read on; we will tell you as best we can. First, try, if possible, 
to find work that you enjoy. I once asked David M. Good- 
rich, Chairman of the Board, B. F. Goodrich Company — tyre 
manufacturers — what he considered the first requisite of success 
in business, and he replied — "Having a good time at your work. 
If you enjoy what you are doing," he said, "you may work 
long hours, but it won't seem like work at all. It will seam 
like play." 



Edison was a good example of that. Edison — the unschooled 
newsboy who grew up to transform the industrial life of 
America — Edison, the man who often ate and slept in his 
laboratoiy and toiled there for eighteen hours a day. But it 
wasn't toil to him. “I never did a day's work in my life," 
he exclaimed. “It was all fun." 

No wonder he succeeded l 

I once heard Charles Schwab say much the same thing. 
He said: “A man can succeed at almost anything for which he 
has unlimited enthusiasm." 

But how can you have enthusiasm for a 30b when you 
haven't the foggiest idea of what you want to do? "The 
greatest tragedy I know of," said Mrs. Edna Kerr, who once 
hired thousands of employees for the Dupont Company, and is 
now assistant director of industrial relations for the American 
Home Products Company — "The greatest tragedy I know of," 
she told me, "is that so many young people never discover 
what they really want to do. I think no one else is so much to 
be pitied as the person who gets nothing at all out of his work 
but his pay." Mrs. Kerr reports that even college graduates 
come to her and say, "I have a B.A. degree from Dartmouth 
[or an M.A. from Cornell]. Have you some kind of work 
I can do for your firm?" They don't know themselves what 
they are able to do, or even what they would like to do. Is it 
any wonder that so many men and women who start out in 
life with competent minds and rosy dreams end up at forty 
in utter frustration and even with a nervous breakdown? In 
fact, finding the right occupation is important even for your 
health. When Dr. Raymond Pearl, of Johns Hopkins, made a 
study, together with some insurance companies, to discover the 
factors that make for a long life, he placed "the right occupa- 
tion" high on the list. He might have said, with Thomas 
Carlyle, "Blessed is the man who has found his work. Let 
him ask no other blessedness." 

I recently spent an evening with Paul W. Boynton, employ* 
ment supervisor for the Socony- Vacuum Oil Company. During 
the last twenty years he has interviewed more than seventy-five 
thousand people looking for jobs, and he has written a l^pok 


entitled 6 Ways to Get a Job . I asked him: “What is the 
greatest mistake young people make today in looking for 
work?" “They don't know what they want to do/* he said. 
“It is perfectly appalling to realise that a man will give more 
thought to buying a suit of clothes that will wear out in a few 
years than he will give to choosing the career on which his 
whole future depends — on which his whole future happiness 
and peace of mind are based I ” 

And so what? What can you do about it? You can lake 
advantage of a new profession called vocational guidance . It 
may help you — or harm you — depending on the ability and 
character of the counsellor you consult. This new profession 
isn't even within gunshot of perfection yet. It hasn't even 
reached the Model T stage. But it has a great future. How 
can you make use of this science? By finding out where, in 
your co mm unity, you can get vocational tests and vocational 

Such advice can only take the form of suggestions. You have 
to make the decisions. Remember that these counsellors are far 
from infallible. They don't always agree with one another. 
They sometimes make ridiculous mistakes. For example, a 
vocational-guidance counsellor advised one of my students to 
become a writer solely because she had a large vocabulary. 
How absurd! It isn't as simple as that. Good writing is the 
kind that transfers your thoughts and emotions to the reader — 
and to do that, you don't need a large vocabulary, but you do 
need ideas, experience, convictions, examples and excitement. 
The vocational counsellor who advised this girl with a large 
vocabulary to become an author succeeded in doing only one 
thing: he turned an erstwhile happy stenographer into a 
frustrated, would-be novelist. 

The point I am trying to make is that vocational-guidance 
experts, even as you and I, are not infallible. Perhaps you 
had better consult several of them — and then interpret their 
findings in the sunlight of common sense. 

You may th i nk it strange that I am including a chapter like 
this in a book devoted to worry. But it isn't strange at all, 
when you understand how many of our worries, regrets, and 


frustrations are spawned by work we despise. Ask your father 
about it — or your neighbour or your boss. No less an 
intellectual giant than John Stuart Mill declared that industrial 
misfits are "among the heaviest losses of society/' Yes, and 
among the unhap piest people on this earth are those same 
“industrial misfits" who hate their daily work! 

Do you know the kind of man who “cracked up" in the 
Army? The man who was misplaced! I'm not talking about 
battle casualties, but about the men who cracked up in ordinary 
service. Dr. William Menninger, one of our greatest living 
psychiatrists, was in charge of the Army's neuro-psychiatric 
division during the war, and he says: “We learned much in the 
Army as to the importance of selection and of placement, of 
putting the right man in the right job. ... A conviction of 
the importance of the job at hand was extremely important. 
Where a man had no interest , where he felt he was misplaced, 
where he thought he was not appreciated, where he believed 
his talents were being misused, invariably we found a potential 
if not an actual psychiatric casualty /' 

Yes— and for the same reasons, a man may “crack up" in 
industry. If he despises his business, he can crack it up, too. 

Take, for example, the case of Phil Johnson. Phil Johnson's 
father owned a laundry, so he gave his son a job, hoping the 
boy would work into the business. But Phil hated the laundry, 
so he dawdled, loafed, did what he had to do and not a lick 
more. Some days he was “absent". His father was so hurt 
to think he had a shiftless, ambitionless son that he was actually 
ashamed before his employees. 

One day Phil Johnson told his father he wanted to be a 
mechanic — work in a machine shop. What? Go back to 
overalls? The old man was shocked.* But Phil had his way. 
He worked in greasy dungarees. He did much harder work 
than was required at the laundry. He worked longer hours, and 
he whistled at his job ! He took up engineering, learned about 
engines, puttered with machines — and when Philip Johnson 
died, in 1944, he was president of the Boeing Aircraft Company, 
and was making the Flying Fortresses that helped to win the 
war! If he had stuck with the laundry, what would have 


happened to turn and the laundry — especially after his father’s 
death? My guess is he would have rained the business — cracked 
it up and ran it into the ground. 

Even at the risk of starting family rows, I would like to say 
to young people: Don't feel compelled to enter a business or 
trade just because your family wants you to do it! Don’t enter 
a career unless you want to do it! However, consider care- 
fully the advice of your parents. They have probably lived 
twice as long as you have. They have gained the kind of 
wisdom that comes only from much experience and the passing 
of many years. But, in the last analysis, you are the one who 
has to make the final decision. You are the one who is going 
to be either happy or miserable at your work. 

Now, having said this, let me give you the following 
suggestions — some of them warnings — about choosing your 

i. Read and study the following five suggestions about 
selecting a vocational-guidance counsellor. These suggestions 
are right from the horse’s mouth. They were made by one of 
America's leading vocational-guidance experts. Professor Harry 
Dexter Kitson of Columbia University. 

a. “Don’t go to anyone who tells you that he has a magic 
system that will indicate your 'vocational aptitude’. In 
this group are phrenologists, astrologers, 'character 
analysts’, handwriting experts. Their 'systems’ do not 

b. “Don't go to anyone who tells you that he can give you 
a test that will indicate what occupation you should 
choose. Such a person violates the principle that a voca- 
tional counsellor must take into account the physical, 
social, and economic conditions surrounding the 
counsellee; and he should render his service in the light 
of the occupational opportunities open to the counsellee.” 

c. “Seek a vocational counsellor who has an adequate 
library of information about occupations and uses it 
in the counselling process.” 

d. “A thorough vocational-guidance service generally 
requires more than one interview.” 


e. “Never accept vocational guidance by mail." 

2 . Keep out of business and professions that are already 
'jam-packed and overflowing! There are many thousands of 
different ways of making a living. But do young people know 
this? Not unless they hire a swami to gaze into a crystal ball. 
The result? In one school, two-thirds of the boys confined their 
choices to five occupations — five out of twenty thousand — and 
four-fifths of the girls did the same. Small wonder that a few 
business and professions are overcrowded — small wonder that 
insecurity, worry, and “anxiety neuroses' ' are rampant at times 
among the white-collar fraternity! Beware of trying to elbow 
your way into such overcrowded fields as law, journalism, 
radio, motion pictures, and the “glamour occupations". 

3. Stay out of activities where the chances are only one out 
of ten of your being able to make a living. As an example, 
take selling life insurance. Each year countless thousands of 
men — frequently unemployed men — start out hying to sell life 
insurance without bothering to find out in advance what is 
likely to happen to them! Here is approximately what does 
happen , according to Franklin L. Bettger, Real Estate Trust 
Building, Philadelphia. For twenty years Mr. Bettger was one 
of the outstandingly successful insurance salesmen in America. 
He declares that ninety per cent of the men who start selling 
life insurance get so heartsick and discouraged that they give 
it up within a year. Out of the ten who remain, one man will 
sell ninety per cent of the insurance sold by the group of ten; 
and the other nine will sell only ten per cent. To put it another 
way : if you start selling life insurance, the chances are nine to 
one that you will fail and quit within twelve months, and the 
chances are only one in a hundred that you will make ten 
thousand a year out of it. Even if you remain at it, the chances 
are only one out of ten that you will be able to do anything 
more than barely scratch out a living. 

4. Spend weeks — even months , if necessary — finding out aU 
you cm about am occupation before deciding to devote y opr 
life to it! How? By interviewing men and women who have 
already spent ten, twenty, or forty years in that occupation. 

These interviews may have a profound effect on your future. 



I know that from my own experience. When I was in my 
early twenties, I sought the vocational advice of two older 
men. As I look back now, I can see that those two interviews 
were turning points in my career. In fact, it would be difficult 
for me even to imagine what my life would have been like had 
I not had those two interviews. 

How can you get these vocational-guidance interviews? To 
illustrate, let's suppose that you are thinking about studying 
to be an architect. Before you make your decision, you ought 
to spend weeks interviewing the architects in your city and in 
adjoining cities. You can get their names and addresses out of 
a classified telephone directory. You can call at their offices 
either with or without an appointment. If yon wish to make 
an appointment, write them something like this : 

Won't you please do me a little favour? I want your advice. 
I am eighteen years old, and I am thinking about studying to be 
an architect. Before I make up my mind, I would like to ask 
your advice. 

If you are too busy to see me at your office, I would be 
most grateful if you would grant me the privilege of seeing you 
for half an hour at your home. 

Here is a list of questions I would like to ask you: 

If you had your life to live over, would you become an 
architect again? 

6. After you have sized me up, I want to ask you whether 
you think I have what it takes to succeed as an architect. 

c. Is the profession of architecture overcrowded? 

d. If I studied architecture for four years, would it be difficult 
for me to get a job? What kind of job would I have to take 
at first?" 

e. If I had average ability, how much could I hope to earn 
during the first five years? 

/. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an 

g. If I were your son, would you advise me to become an 


If you axe timid, and hesitate to face a “big shot" alone, 
here are two suggestions that will help. 

First, get a lad of your own age to go with you. The two of 
you will bolster up one another's confidence. If you haven't 
someone of your own age to go with you, ask your father to 
go with you. 

Second, remember that by asking his advice you are paying 
this man a compliment. He may feel flattered by your request. 
Remember that adults like to give advice to young men and 
women. The architect will probably enjoy the interview. 

‘ If you hesitate to write letters asking for an appointment, 
then go to a man's office without an appointment and tell him 
you would be most grateful if he would give you a bit of 

Suppose you call on five architects and they are all too busy 
to see you (which isn't likely), call on five more. Some of them 
will see you and give you priceless advice — advice that may 
save you years of lost time and heartbreak. 

Remember that you are making one of the two most vital 
and far-reaching decisions of your life. So, take time to get 
the facts before you act. If you don’t, you may spend half a 
lifetime regretting it. 

If you can afford to do so, offer to pay a man for a half-hour 
of his time and advice. 

5. Get over the mistaken belief that you are fitted for only 
a single occupation! Every normal person can succeed at a 
number of occupations, and every normal person would prob- 
ably fail in many occupations. Take myself, for example: if 
I had studied and prepared myself for the following occupa- 
tions, I believe I would have had a good chance of achieving 
some small measure of success— and also of enjoying my work. 
I refer to such occupations as farming, fruit growing, scientific 
agriculture, medicine, selling, advertising, editing a country 
newspaper, teaching, and forestry. On the other hand, I am 
sure I would have been unhappy, and a failure, at book- 
keeping, accounting, engineering, operating a hotel or a 
factory, architecture, all mechanical trades, and hundreds of 
other activities. 



chapter 30: “ Seventy Per Cent of All Our 
Worries . . . 55 

If I knew how to solve everybody’s financial worries, I 
wouldn’t be writing this book, I would be sitting in the White 
House — right beside the President. But here is one thing I can 
do: I can quote some authorities on this subject and make 
some highly practical suggestions and point out where you can 
obtain books and pamphlets that will give you additional 

Seventy per cent of all our worries, according to a survey 
made by the Ladies' Home Journal , are about money. George 
Gallup, of the Gallup Poll, says that his research indicates that 
most people believe that they would have no more financial 
worries if they could increase their income by only ten per cent. 
That is true in many cases, but in a surprisingly large number 
of cases it is not true. For example, while writing this chapter, 
I interviewed an expert on budgets: Mrs. Elsie Stapleton— a 
woman who spent years as financial adviser to the customers and 
employees of Wanamaker's Department Store in New York and 
of GimbeFs. She has spent additional years as an individual con- 
sultant, trying to help people who were frantic with worry about 
money. She has helped people in all kinds of income brackets, 
all the way from a porter who earned less than a thousand 
dollars a year to am executive earning one hundred thousand 
a year. And this is what she told me: "More money is not 
the answer to most people’s financial worries. In fact, I have 
often seen it happen that an increase in income accomplished 
nothing but an increase in spending — and an increase in head- 
aches. What causes most people to worry/' she said, "is not 
that they haven’t enough money, but that they don't know how 
to spend the money they have!" . . . [You snorted at that last 
sentence, didn't you? Well, before you snort again, please 


244 HOW T0 LESSEN your financial worries 

remember that Mrs. Stapleton did not say that was true of all 
people. She said, “most people". She didn't mean you. She 
meant your sisters and your cousins, whom you reckon by the 

A lot of readers are going to say, "I wish this guy Carnegie 
had my bills to meet, my obligations to keep up — on my weekly 
salary. If he did. I'll bet he would change his tune." Well, 
I have had my financial troubles : I have worked ten hours a 
day at hard physical labour in the cornfields and hay bams of 
Missouri — worked until my one supreme wish was to be free 
from the aching pains of utter physical exhaustion. I was paid 
for that gruelling work not a dollar an hour, nor fifty cents, 
nor even ten cents. I was paid five cents an hour for a ten-hour 

I know what it means to live for twenty years in houses 
without a bathroom or running water. I know what it means 
to sleep in bedrooms where the temperature is fifteen degrees 
below zero, I know what it means to walk miles to save a 
nickel car-fare and have holes in the bottom of my shoes and 
patches on the seat of my pants. I know what it means to order 
the cheapest dish on a restaurant menu, and to sleep with my 
trousers under the mattress because I couldn't afford to have 
them pressed by a tailor. 

Yet, even during those times, I usually managed to save a 
few dimes and quarters out of my income because I was afraid 
not to. As a result of this experience, I realised that if you and 
I long to avoid debt and financial worries, then we have to do 
what a business firm does : we have to have a plan for spend- 
ing our money and spend according to that plan. But most 
of us don't do that. For example, my good friend, Leon 
Shimkin, general manager of the firmf that publishes this book, 
pointed out to me a curious blindness that many people have 
in regard to their money. He told me about a book-keeper he 
knows, a man who is a wizard at figures when working for his 
firm — yet when it comes to handling his personal finances! 

. . . Well, if this man gets paid on Friday noon, let us say, 
he will walk down the street, see an overcoat in a store window 
that strikes his fancy, and buy it — never giving a thought to 


the fact that rent, electric lights, and all kinds of “fixed” 
charges have to come out of that pay envelope sooner or later. 
No — he has the cash in his pocket, and that’s all that counts. 
Yet this man knows that if the company he works for conducted 
its business in such a slap-happy manner, it would end up in 

Here’s something to consider — where your money is con- 
cerned , you re in business for yourself! And it is literally 44 your 
business” what you do with your money. 

But what are the principles of managing our money? How 
do we begin to make a budget and a plan? Here are eleven 

Rule No. 1: Get the facts down on paper. 

When Arnold Bennett started out in London fifty years ago 
to be a novelist, he was poor and hard-pressed. So he kept a 
record of what he did with every sixpence. Did he wonder 
where his money was going? No. He knew. He liked the idea 
so much that he continued to keep such a record even after he 
became rich, world-famous, and had a private yacht. 

John D. Rockefeller, Sr., also kept a ledger. He knew to the 
penny just where he stood before he said his prayers at night 
and climbed into bed. 

You and I, too, will have to get notebooks and start keeping 
records. For the rest of our lives? No, not necessarily. Experts 
on budgets recommend that we keep an accurate account of 
every nickel we spend for at least the first month — and, if 
possible, for three months. This is to give us an accurate record 
of where our money goes, so we can draw up a budget. 

Oh, you know where your money goes?* Well, maybe so; 
but if you do, you are one in a thousand! Mrs. Stapleton tells 
me it is a common occurrence for men and women to spend 
hours giving her facts and figures, so she can get them down 
on paper— then, when they see the result on paper, they 
exclaim, 44 Is that the way my money goes? ” They can hardly 
believe it. Are you like that? Could be. 


Rule No. 2: Get a tailor-made budget that really fits your needs. 

Mrs. Stapleton tells me that two families may live side by 
side in identical houses, in the very same suburb, have the 
same number of children in the family, and receive the same 
income — yet their budgeting needs will be radically different. 
Why? Because people are different. She says a budget has to 
be a personal, custom-made job* 

The idea of a budget is not to wring all the joy out of life. 
The idea is to give us a sense of material security — which in 
many cases means emotional security and freedom from worry. 
‘'People who live on budgets," Mrs. Stapleton told me, "are 
happier people." 

But how do you go about it? First, as I said, you must list 
all expenses. Then get advice. In many cities of twenty 
thousand and up, you will find family-welfare societies that 
will gladly give you free advice on financial problems and help 
you draw up a budget to fit your income. 

Rule No. 3: Learn how to spend wisely. 

By this I mean: learn how to get the best value for your 
money. All large corporations have professional buyers and 
purchasing agents who do nothing but get the very best buys 
for their firms. As steward ana manager of your personal 
.estate, why shouldn't you do likewise? 

Rule No. 4: Don’t increase your headaches with your income. 

Mrs. Stapleton told me that the budgets she dreads most to be 
called into consultation on are family, incomes of five thousand 
dollars a year. I asked her why. "Because," she said, "five 
thousand a year seems to be^goal to most American families. 
They may go along sensibl^rad sanely for years — then, when 
their income rises to five thousand a year, they think they have 
'arrived' . They start branching out. Buy a house in the 
suburbs, 'that doesn't cost any more than renting an apart- 
ment/ Buy a car, a lot of new furniture, and a lot of new 


clothes — and the first thing you know, they are running into 
the red. They are actually less happy than they were before — 
because they have bitten off too much with their increase in 

That is only natural. We all want to get more out of life. 
But in the long run, which is going to bring us more happiness — 
forcing ourselves to live within a tight budget, or having d un - 
ning letters in the mail and creditors pounding on the front 

Rule No. 5: Try to build credit, in the event you must borrow. 

If you are faced with an emergency and find you must 
borrow, life-insurance policies, Defence Bonds and Savings 
Certificates are literally money in your pocket. However, be 
sure your insurance policies have a savings aspect, if you want 
to borrow on them, for this means a cash value. Certain types 
of insurance, called “term insurance'’, are merely for your 
protection over a given period of time and do not build up 
reserves. These policies are obviously of no use to you for 
borrowing purposes. Therefore, the rule is: Ask questions I 
Before you sign for a policy, find out if it has a cash value in 
case you have to raise money. 

Now, suppose you haven't insurance you can borrow on, and 
you haven't any bonds, but you do own a house, or a^car, or 
some other kind of collateral. Where do you go to borrow? 
By all means, to a bank ! Banks all over this land axe subject 
to strict regulation; they have a reputation to maintain in the 
community; the rate of interest they can charge is fixed firmly 
by law; and they will deal with you fairly. Frequently, if you 
are in a financial jam, the bank will go so far as to discuss 
your problems with you, make a plan, and help you work your 
way out of your worry and indebtedness. I repeat, I repeat, if 
you have collateral, go to a bank ! 

However, suppose you are one of the thousands who don't 
have collateral, don't own any property, and have nothing to 
offer as guarantee except your wages or salary? Then, as you 
value your life, heed this word of warning ! Do not — do not 



apply to the first '"loan company” whose alluring advertise- 
ments you see in the paper* These people, to read some of 
their ads, are as generous as Santa Claus. Don't you believe 
it! However, there are some companies that are ethical, 
honest, and strictly on the level. They are doing a service 
to those people who are faced with illness or emergency 
and have to raise money. They charge a higher rate of 
interest than the banks, but they have to do this, for 
they take greater risks and have greater expenses in collect- 
ing. But, before doing business with any loan company, go 
to your bank, talk to one of its officers, and ask him to recom- 
mend a loan company that he hmms to be fair. Otherwise — - 
otherwise— -well, I don't want to give you nightmares, but here 
is what can happen : 

At one time a newspaper in Minneapolis conducted an in- 
vestigation into loan companies that were supposedly operating 
within the regulations laid down by the Russell Sage Founda- 
tion. I know a man who worked on that investigation — Ms 
name is Douglas Lurton, and he is now editor of Your Life 
magazine. Doug Lurton tells me that the ahum he saw among 
the poorer class of debtors would make your hair stand on end. 
Loans that had begun as a mere fifty dollars had soared and 
multiplied to three and four hundred dollars before they were 
paid. Wages were garnisheed; and, frequently, the man whose 
wages were attached was fired by his company. In numerous 
instances, when the man was unable to pay, the loan sharks 
simply sent an appraiser into his home to * 'evaluate” his 
furniture — and cleaned out the home! People were found who 
had been paying on small loans for four and five years and 
still owed money! Unusual cases? To quote Doug Lurton: 
"In our campaign, we so flooded th£ court with cases of this 
sort that the judges cried uncle, and the newspaper itself had 
to set up an arbitration bureau to take care of the hundreds 
of cases/' 

How is such a thing possible? Well, the answer, of course, 
is in all sorts of hidden charges and extra "legal fees”. Here 
is a rule to remember in dealing with loan companies: if you 
axe absolutely certain, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you 

“seventy per cent of all our worries q . 249 

can pay the money off quickly, then your interest will be low, 
or reasonably low, and you will get off fairly. But if you have 
to renew, and keep on renewing, then your interest can mount 
into figures that would make Einstein dizzy* Doug Lurton tells 
me that in some cases these additional fees had swollen the 
original indebtedness to two thousand per cent, or about five 
hundred times as much as a bank would charge ! 

Rule No. 8: Protect yourself against illness, fire, and emergency 


Insurance is available, for relatively small sums, on all kinds 
of accidents, misfortunes, and conceivable emergencies. I am 
not suggesting that you cover yourself for everything from slip- 
ping in the bathtub to catching German measles — but I do 
suggest that you protect yourself against the major misfortunes 
that you know could cost you money and therefore do cost you 
worry. It's cheap at the price. 

For example, I know a woman who had to spend ten days 
in a hospital last year and, when she came out, was presented 
a bill — for exactly eight doUars! The answer? She had hospital 

Rule No. 7 : Do not have your life-insurance proceeds paid to 
your widow in cash. 

If you are carrying life insurance to provide for your family 
after you're gone, do not , I beg of you, have your insurance 
paid in one lump sum. 

What happens to “a new widow with new money"? I’ll let 
Mrs. Marion S. Eberly answer that question. She is head of 
the Women's Division of the Institute of Life Insurance, 
6o East 42nd Street, New York City* She speaks before 
women's dubs all over America on the wisdom of using life- 
insurance proceeds to purchase a life income for the widow 
instead of giving her the proceeds in cash. She tells of one 
widow who received twenty thousand dollars in cash and lent 
it to her son to start in the auto-accessory business. The 


business failed, and she is destitute now. She tells of another 
widow who was persuaded by a slick real-estate salesman to put 
most of her life-insurance money in vacant lots that were ''sure 
to double in value within a year/' Three years later, she sold 
the lots for one-tenth of what she paid for them. She tells 
of another widow who had to apply to the Child Welfare 
Association for the support of her children — within twelve 
months after she had been left fifteen thousand dollars in life 
insurance. A hundred thousand similar tragedies could be told. 

'The average lifetime of twenty-five thousand dollars left in 
the hands of a woman is less than seven years." That statement 
was made by Sylvia S. Porter, financial editor of the New York 
Post , in the Ladies' Home Journal . 

Years ago. The Saturday Evening Post said in an editorial: 
"The ease with which the average widow without business 
training, and with no banker to advise her, can be wheedled 
into putting her husband's life-insurance money into wild-cat 
stocks by the first slick salesman who approaches her — is pro- 
verbial. Any lawyer or banker can cite a dozen cases in which 
the entire savings of a thrifty man's lifetime, amassed by years 
of sacrifice and self-denial, were swept away simply because a 
widow or an orphan trusted one of the slick crooks who rob 
women for a livelihood." 

If you want to protect your widow and your children, why 
not take a tip from J. P. Morgan — one of die wisest financiers 
who ever lived. He left money in his will to sixteen principal 
legatees. Twelve were women. Did he leave these women 
cash? No. He left trust funds that ensured these women a 
monthly income for life. 

Rule No. 8; Teach your children a responsible attitude toward 


I shall never forget an idea I once read in Your Life maga- 
zine. The author, Stella Weston Tuttle, described how she 
was teaching her little girl a sense of responsibility about money. 
She got an extra cheque-book from the bank and gave it to 
her nine-year-old daughter. When the daughter waa given her 



I * 

weekly allowance, she “deposited” the money with her mother, 
who served as a bank for the child's funds. Then, throughout 
the week, whenever she wanted a cent or two, she “drew a 
cheque” for that amount and kept track of her balance. The 
little girl not only found that fun, but began to learn real 
responsibility in handling her money. 

This is an excellent method and if you have a son or daughter 
of school age, and you want this child to learn how to handle 
money, I recommend it for your consideration. 

Buie No. 9 : If necessary, make a little extra money off your 
kitchen stove* 

If after you budget your expenses wisely you still find that 
you don't have enough to make ends meet, you can then do 
one of two things: you can either scold, fret, worry, and com- 
plain, or you can plan to make a little additional money on 
the side. How? Well, all you have to do to make money is to 
fill an urgent need that isn't being adequately filled now. That 
is what Mrs. Nellie Speer, 37-09 83rd Street, Jackson Heights, 
New York, did. In 1932, she found herself living alone in a 
three-room apartment. -Her husband had died, and both of her 
children were married. One day, while having some ice-cream 
at a drug-store soda fountain, she noticed that the fountain 
was also selling bakery pies that looked sad and dreary. She 
asked the proprietor if he would buy some real home-made 
pies from her. He ordered two. “Although I was a good 
cook,” Mrs. Speer said, as she told me the story, “I had always 
had servants when we lived in Georgia, and I had never baked 
more than a dozen pies* in my fife. After getting that order 
for two pies, I asked a neighbour woman how to cook an 
apple-pie. The soda-fountain customers were delighted with 
my first two home-baked pies, one apple, one lemon. The drug- 
store ordered five the next day. Then orders gradually came 
in from other fountains and luncheonettes. Within two years, 
I was baking five thousand pies a year — I was doing all the 
work myself in my own tiny kitchen, and I was making a 


thousand dollars a year clear, without a penny's expense except 
the ingredients that went into the pies/' 

The demand for Mrs. Speer's home-baked pastry became so 
great that she had to move out of hex kitchen into a shop and 
hire two girls to bake for her: pies, cakes, bread, and rolls. 
During the war, people stood in line lor an hour at a time to 
buy her home-baked foods. 

"I have never been happier in my life," Mrs. Speer said. 
“I work in the shop twelve to fourteen hours a day, but I don't 
get tired because it isn't work to me. It is an adventure in 
living. I am doing my part to make people a little happier. 
I am too busy to be lonesome or worried. My work has filled 
a gap in my life left vacant by the passing of my mother and 
husband and my home." 

When I asked Mrs. Speer if she felt that other women who 
were good cooks could make money in their spar© time in a 
similar way, in towns of ten thousand and up, she replied, 
"Yes— of course they can I " 

Mrs. Ora Snyder will tell you the same thing. She lives in a 
town of thirty thousand — Maywood, Illinois. Yet she started 
in business with the kitchen stove and ten cents' worth of 
ingredients. Her husband fell ill. She had to earn money. But 
how? No experience. No skill. No capital. Just a housewife. 
She took the white of an egg and sugar and made some candy 
on the back of the kitchen stove; then she took her pan of candy 
and stood near the school and sold it to the children for a penny 
a piece as they went home. "Bring more peonies tomorrow," 
she said. ‘Til be here every day with my home-made candy." 
During the first weds:, she not only made a profit, but bad also 
put a new zest into living, a© was making both herself and the 
children happy. No time now for worry. 

This quiet little housewife from Maywood, lUinois, was so 
ambitious that she decided to branch out — to have an agent 
sell her kitchen-made candy in roaring, thundering Chicago, 
She timidly approached an Italian sailing peanuts on the street. 
He shrugged his shoulders. His customers wanted peanuts, 
not candy. She gave Mm a sample. He liked it, began selling 
her candy, and made a good profit for Mrs, Snyder on the 


first day. Four years later, she opened her first store in Chicago. 
It was only eight feet wide. She made her candy at night and 
sold it in the daytime. This erstwhile timid housewife, who 
started her candy factory on her kitchen sieve, now has seven- 
teen stores — fifteen of them in the busy Loop district of 

Here is the point I am trying to make. Nellie Speer, in 
Jackson Heights, New York, and Mrs. Ora Snyder, in May- 
wood, Illinois, instead of worrying about finances, did some- 
thing positive. They started in an extremely small way to make 
money off the kitchen stove — no overhead, no rent, no adver- 
tising, no salaries. Under these conditions, it is almost 
impossible for a woman to be defeated by financial worries. 

Look around you. You will find many needs that are not 
filled. For example, if you train yourself to be a good cook, 
you can probably make money by starting cooking classes for 
young girls right in your own kitchen. You can get your 
students by ringing door-bells. 

Books have been written about how to make money in your 
spare time; inquire at your public library. There are man y 
opportunities for both men and women. But one word of warn 
ing: unless yon have a natural gift for selling, don’t attempt 
door-to-door selling. Most people hate it and fail at it. 

Rule No. 10 ; Don’t gamble — ever. 

I am always astounded by the people who hope to make 
money by betting on the ponies or playing slot machines. I 
know a man who makes his living by owning a string of these 
“one armed bandits”, and he hi nothing but contempt for 
the foolish people who are so naive as to imagine that they can 
beat a machine that is already rigged against them. 

I also know one of the best-known bookmakers in America. 
He was a student in my adult-education classes. He told me 
that with ail his knowledge of horse racing, he couldn’t make 
money betting on the ponies. Yet the facts are that foolish 
people bet six billion dollars a year on the races — six times as 
modi as our total national debt back in 1910. This bookmaker 


also told me that if he had an enemy he despised, he could 
think of no better way of mining him than by getting him to 
bet on the races. When I asked him what would happen to 
the man who played the races according to the tipster sheets, 
he replied: ''You could lose the Mint by betting that way/' 

If we are determined to gamble, let’s at least be smart. Let’s 
find out what the odds are against us. How? By reading a 
book entitled How to Figure the Odds, by Oswald Jacoby — an 
authority on bridge and poker, a top-ranking mathematician, 
a professional statistician, and an insurance actuary. This book 
devotes 215 pages to telling you what the odds are against your 
winning when you play the ponies, roulette, craps, slot 
machines, draw poker, stud poker, contract bridge, auction 
pinochle, the stock market. This book also gives you the 
scientific, mathematical chances on a score of other activities. 
It doesn’t pretend to show how to make money gambling. The 
author has no axe to grind. He merely shows you what the 
odds are against your winning in all the usual ways of 
gambling; and when you see the odds, you will pity the poor 
suckers who stake their hard-earned wages on horse races or 
cards or dice or slot machines. If you are tempted to shoot 
craps or play poker or bet on horses, this book may save you 
a hundred times — yes, maybe a thousand times — what it costs. 

Rule No. IX: If we can’t possibly improve our financial situation, 
let’s be good to ourselves and stop resenting what can’t be 


If we can’t possibly improve our financial situation, maybe 
we can improve our mental attitude towards it. Let’s remember 
that other people have their financial worries, too. We may 
be worried because we can’t keep up with the Joneses; but the 
Joneses are probably worried because they can't keep up with 
the Ritzes; and the Ritzes are worried because they can't keep 
up with the Vanderbilts. 

Some of the most famous men in American history have had 
their fi n a n cial troubles. Both Lincoln and Washington had to 
borrow money to make the trip to be inaugurated as President. 

"seventy per cent of all our worries . . .” 255 

If we can't have all we want, let's not poison our days and 
sour our dispositions with worry and resentment. Let's be good 
to ourselves. Let's try to be philosophical about it. "If you 
have what seems to you insufficient,'' said one of Rome's 
greatest philosophers, Seneca, "then you will be miserable even 
if you possess the world." 

And let's remember this: even if we owned the entire United 
States with a hog-tight fence around it, we could eat only three 
meals a day and sleep in only one bed at a time. 

To lessen financial worries, let's try to follow these eleven 

t. Get the facts down on paper. 

2. Get a tailor-made budget that really fits your needs I 

3. Learn how to spend wisely. 

4. Don't increase your headaches with your income. 

5. Try to build credit, in the event you must borrow. 

6. Protect yourself against illness, fire, and emergency 

7. Do not have your life-insurance proceeds paid to your 
widow in cash. 

8. Teach your children a responsible attitude towards 

9. If necessary, make a little extra money off your kitchen 

10. Don't gamble — ever. 

11. If we can't possibly improve our financial station, 
let's be good to ourselves and stop resenting what can't 
be changed. 




Six Major Troubles Hit Me All At Once 

by C. L Blackwood 

Proprietor, Blackwood-Davis Business College 
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 

In the summer of 1943, it seemed to me that half the worries 
of the world had come to rest on my shoulders. 

For more than forty years, I had lived a normal, carefree 
life with only the usual troubles which come to a husband, 
father, and business man. I could usually meet these troubles 
easily, but suddenly — wham! wham! 1 wham 1 1 1 wham! ! I ! 
WHAM! III! WHAM! ! ! ! 1 ! Six major troubles hit me all 
at once. I pitched and tossed and turned in bed all night long, 
half dreading to see the day come, because I faced these six 
major worries. 

1. My business college was trembling on the verge of financial 
disaster because all the boys were going to war; and most of the 
girls were making more money working in war plants without 
training than my graduates could make in business offices with 

2. My older son was in service, and 1 had the heart-numbing 
worry common to all parents whose sons were away at war. 

3. Oklahoma City had already started proceedings to appro- 
priate a large tract of land for an airport, and my home — 
formerly my father's home — was located in the centre of this 
tract. I knew that I would be paid only one tenth of its value, 
and, what was even worse, I would lose my home; and because 
of the housing shortage, I worried about whether I could possibly 
find another home to shelter my family of six. I feared we 
might have to live in a tent. I even worried about whether we 
would be able to buy a tent. 




4. The water well on my property went dry because a drain- 
age canal had been dug near my home. To dig a new well would 
be throwing five hundred dollars away because the land was 
probably being appropriated. I had to carry water to my live- 
stock in buckets every morning for two months, and I feared I 
would have to continue it during the rest of the war. 

* 5* I hved ten miles away from my business school and I had 

a class B petrol card: that meant I couldn't buy any new tyres, 
so I worried about how I could ever get to work when the super- 
annuated tyres on my old Ford gave up the ghost. 

6. My oldest daughter had graduated from high school a year 
ahead of schedule. She had her heart set on going to college, 
and I just didn't have the money to send her. I knew her heart 
would be broken. 

One afternoon while sitting in my office, worrying about my 
worries, I decided to write them all down, for it seemed no one 
ever had more to worry about than I had. I didn't mind wrest- 
ling with worries that gave me a fighting chance to solve them, 
but these worries all seemed to be utterly beyond my control. I 
could do nothing to solve them. So I filed away this typewritten 
list of my troubles, and, as the months passed, I forgot that I 
had ever written it. Eighteen months later, while transferring 
my files, I happened to come across this list of my six major 
problems that had once threatened to wreck my health. I read 
them with a great deal of interest — and profit. I now saw that 
not one of them had come to pass. 

Here is what had happened to them: 

1. I saw that all my worries about having to close my busi- 
ness college had been useless because the government had started 
paying business schools for training veterans and my school was 
soon filled to capacity. * 

2. I saw that all my worries about my son in service had been 
useless: he was coming through the war without a scratch. 

3. 1 saw that all my worries about my land being appropriated 
for use as an airport had been useless because oil had been struck 
within a mile of my farm and the cost for procuring the land for 
an airport had become prohibitive. 

4. I saw that all my worries about having no well to water my 


stock had been useless because, as soon as I knew my land 
would not be appropriated, I spent the money necessary to dig a 
new well to a deeper level and found an unfailing supply of 

5. I saw that all my worries about my tyres giving out had 
been useless, because by recapping and careful driving, the 
tyres had managed somehow to survive. 

6. I saw that all my worries about my daughter’s education 
had been useless, because just sixty days before the opening of 
college, I was offered — almost like a miracle — an auditing job 
which I could do outside of school hours, and this job made it 
possible for me to send her to college on schedule. 

I had often heard people say that ninety-nine per cent of the 
things we worry and stew and fret about never happen, but this 
old saying didn’t mean much to me until I ran across that list 
of worries I had typed out that dreary afternoon eighteen 
months previously. 

I am thankful now that I had to wrestle in vain with those six 
terrible worries. That experience has taught me a lesson I'll 
never forget. It has shown me the folly and tragedy of stewing 
about events that haven't happened — events that are beyond 
our control and may never happen. 

Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. 
Ask yourseli: How do I know this thing I am worrying about wiJJ 
really come to passP 



I Can Turn Myself into a Shouting Optimist 
Within an Hour 

by Roger W. Babson 
Famous Economist 

Babson Park, Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts 

When I find myself depressed over present conditions, I can, 
within one hour, banish worry and turn myself into a shouting 

Here is how I do it. I enter my library, close my eyes, and 
walk to certain shelves containing only books on history. With 
my eyes still shut, I reach for a book, not knowing whether I 
am picking up Prescott's Conquest of Mexico or Suetonius' 
Lives of the Twelve Ccesars . With my eyes still closed, I open 
the book at random. I then open my eyes and read for an hour; 
and the more I read, the more sharply I realise that the world 
has always been in the throes of agony, that civilisation has 
always been tottering on the brink. The pages of history fairly 
shriek with tragic tales of war, famine, poverty, pestilence, and 
man's inhumanity to man. After reading history for an hour, 
I realise that bad as conditions are now, they are infinitely 
better than they used to be. This enables me to see and face 
my present troubles in their proper perspective as well as to 
realise that the world as a whole is constantly growing better. 

Here is a method that deserves a whole chapter. Head history! 
Try to get the viewpoint of ten thousand years — and see how 
trivial yotjb trembles are, in terms 0! eternity. 



How I Got Rid of an Inferiority Complex 

by Elmer Thomas 

United States Senator from Oklahoma 

When I was fifteen I was constantly tormented by worries and 
fears and self-consciousness. I was extremely tall for my age 
and as thin as a fence rail. I stood six feet two inches and 
weighed only 118 pounds. In spite of my height, I was weak 
and could never compete with the other boys in baseball or 
running games. They poked fun at me and called me “hatch- 
face' \ I was so worried and self-conscious that I dreaded to 
meet anyone, and I seldom did, for our farmhouse was off the 
public road and surrounded by thick virgin timber that had 
never been cut since the beginning of time. We lived half a 
mile from the highway; and a week would often go by without 
my seeing anyone except my mother, father, and brothers 
and sisters. 

I would have been a failure in life if I had let those worries 
and fears whip me. Every day and every hour of the day, I 
brooded over my tall, gaunt, weak body. I could hardly think 
of anything else. My embarrassment, my fear, was so intense 
that it is almost impossible to describe it. My mother knew how 
I felt. She had been a school-teacher, so she said to me, “Son, 
you ought to get an education, you ought to make your living 
with your mind because your body will always be a handicap/' 

Since my parents were unable to send me to college, I knew 
I would have to make my own way; so I hunted and trapped 
opossum, skiuik, mink, and raccoon one winter; sold my hides 
for four dollars in the spring, and then bought two little pigs with 
my four dollars, I fed the pigs slop and later com and sold 
them for forty dollars the next fall. With the proceeds from 
the sale of the two hogs I went away to the Central Normal 
College — located at Danville, Indiana. I paid a dollar and forty 
cents a week for my board and fifty cents a week for my room. 
I wore a brown shirt my mother had made me. (Obviously, she 



used brown doth because it wouldn't show the dirt.) I wore a 
suit of clothes that had once belonged to my father* Dad's 
dothes didn't fit me and neither did his old congress gaiter shoes 
that I wore — shoes that had elastic bands in the sides that 
stretched when you pulled them on. But the stretch had long 
since gone out of the bands, and the tops were so loose that the 
shoes almost dropped off my feet as I walked. I was embar- 
rassed to assodate with the other students, so I sat in my room 
alone and studied. The deepest desire of my life was to be able 
to buy some store dothes that fit me, clothes that I was not 
ashamed of. 

Shortly after that, four events happened that helped me to 
overcome my worries and my feeling of inferiority. One of these 
events gave me courage and hope and confidence and com- 
pletely changed all the rest of my life. I'll describe these events 
briefly : 

First: After attending this normal school for only eight weeks, 
I took an examination and was given a third-grade certificate to 
teach in the country public schools. To be sure, this certificate 
was good for only six months, but it was fleeting evidence that 
somebody had faith in me — the first evidence of faith that I 
ever had from anyone except my mother. 

Second: A country school board at a place called Happy 
Hollow hired me to teach at a salary of two dollars per day, or 
forty dollars per month. Here was even more evidence of 
somebody's faith in me. 

Third: As soon as I got my first cheque I bought some store 
clothes — clothes that I wasn't ashamed to wear. If someone 
gave me a million dollars now, it wouldn't thrill me half as 
much as that first suit of store clothes for which I paid only 
a few dollars. 

Fourth: The real turning point in my life, the first great 
victory in my struggle against embarrassment and inferiority 
occurred at the Putnam County Fair held annually in Bain- 
bridge, Indiana. My mother had urged me to enter a public- 
speaking contest that was to be held at the fair. To me, the 
very idea seemed fantastic. I didn't have the courage to talk 
even to one person— let alone a crowd. But my mother's faith 


in me was almost pathetic. She dreamed great dreams for my 
future. She was living her own life over in her son. Her faith 
inspired me to enter the contest. I chose for my subject about 
the last thing in the world that I was qualified to talk on : "The 
Fine and Liberal Arts of America”. Frankly, when I began 
to prepare a speech I didn't know what the liberal arts were, 
but it didn't matter much because my audience didn't know, 
either. I memorised my flowery talk and rehearsed it to the 
trees and cows a hundred times. I was so eager to make a 
good showing for my mother's sake that I must have spoken 
with emotion. At any rate, I was awarded the first prize. 
I was astounded at what happened. A cheer went up from the 
crowd. The very boys who had once ridiculed me and poked 
fun at me and called me hatchet-faced now slapped me on 
the back and said, "I knew you could do it, Elmer.” My 
mother put her arms around me and sobbed. As I look back 
in retrospect, I can see that winning that speaking contest 
was the turning point of my life. The local newspapers ran 
an article about me on the front page and prophesied great 
things for my future. Winning that contest put me on the map 
locally and gave me prestige, and, what is far more important, 
it multiplied my confidence a hundredfold. I now realise that 
if I had not won that contest, I probably would never have 
become a member of the United States Senate, for it lifted my 
sights, widened my horizons, and made me realise that I had 
latent abilities that I never dreamed I possessed. Most 
important, however, was the fact that the first prize in the 
oratorical contest was a year's scholarship in the Central 
Normal College. 

I hungered now for more education. So, during the next 
few years — from 1896 to 1900 — I divided my time between 
teaching and studying. In order to pay my expenses at De 
Pauw University, I waited on tables, looked after furnaces, 
mowed lawns, kept books, worked in the wheat and cornfields 
during the summer, and hauled gravel on a public road- 
construction job. 

In 1896, when I was only nineteen, I made twenty-eight 



speeches, urging people to vote for William Jennings Bryan 
for President. The excitement of speaking for Bryan aroused a 
a desire in me to enter politics myself. So when I entered 
De Pauw University, I studied law and public speaking. In 
1899 I represented the university in a debate with Butler 
College, held in Indianapolis, on the subject "Resolved that 
United States Senators should be elected by popular vote." 
Lwon other speaking contests and became editor-in-chief of the 
class of 1900 College Annual, The Mirage , and the university 
paper. The Palladium. 

After receiving my A,B. degree at De Pauw, I took Horace 
Greeley's advice-only I didn't go west, I went south-west. I 
went down to a new country: Oklahoma. When the Kiowa, 
Comanche, and Apache Indian reservation was opened, I home- 
steaded a claim and opened a law office in Lawton, Oklahoma. 
I served in the Oklahoma State Senate for thirteen years, in 
the lower House of Congress for four years, and at fifty years 
of age, I achieved my lifelong ambition : I was elected to the 
United States Senate from Oklahoma. I have served in that 
capacity since March 4, 1927. Since Oklahoma and Indian 
Territories became the state of Oklahoma on November 16, 
1907, I have been continuously honoured by the Democrats 
of my adopted state by nominations — first for State Senate, 
then for Congress, and later for the United States Senate. 

I have told this story, not to brag about my own fleeting 
accomplishments, which can't possibly interest anyone else. I 
have told it wholly with the hope that it may give renewed 
courage and confidence to some poor boy who is now suffering 
from the worries and shyness and feeling of inferiority that 
devastated my life whep I was wearing my father's cast-off 
clothes and gaiter shoes that almost dropped off my feet as I 

(Editor's note: It is interesting to know that Elmer Thomas, 
who was so ashamed of his ill-fitting dothes as a youth, was 
later voted the best-dressed man in the United States Senate.) 


I Lived in the Garden of Allah 

BY R. V. C. Bodley 

Descendant of Sir Thomas Bodley,, founder 
of the Bodleian Library, Oxford 

Author of Wind in the Sahara , The 
Messenger , and fourteen other volumes 

In 1918, I turned my back on the world I had known and went 
to north-west Africa and lived with the Arabs in the Sahara, 
the Garden of Allah. I lived there seven years. I learned to 
speak the language of the nomads. I wore their clothes, I ate 
their food, and adopted their mode of life, which has changed 
very little during the last twenty centuries. I became an owner 
of sheep and slept on the ground in the Arabs* tents. I also 
made a detailed study of their religion. In fact, I later wrote 
a book about Mohammed, entitled The Messenger. 

Those seven years which I spent with these wandering 
shepherds were the most peaceful and contented years of my 

I had already had a rich and varied experience : I was bom 
of English parents in Paris; and lived in France for nine years. 
Later I was educated at Eton and at the Royal Military College 
at Sandhurst. Then I spent six years as a British array officer 
in India, where I played polo, and hunted, and explored in the 
Himalayas as well as doing some soldiering. I fought through 
the First World War and, at its dose, I was sent to the Paris 
Conference as an assistant military attache. I was shocked 
and disappointed at what I saw there; During the four years 
of slaughter on the Western Front, I had believed we were 
fighting to save civilisation. But at the Paris Peace Conference, 
I saw selfish politicians laying the groundwork for the Second 
World War — each country grabbing all it could for itself, 
creating national antagonisms, and reviving the intrigues of 
secret diplomacy. 

X was sick of war, sick of the army, sick of society. For the 



first time in my career, I spent sleepless nights, worrying about 
what I should do with my life. Lloyd George urged me to 
go in for politics. I was considering taking his advice when 
a strange thing happened, a strange thing that shaped and 
determined my life for the next seven years. It all came from 
a conversation that lasted less than two hundred seconds — a 
conversation with “Ted” Lawrence, “Lawrence of Arabia”, 
the most colourful and romantic figure produced by the First 
World War. He had lived in the desert with the Arabs and 
he advised me to dp the same thing. .At first, it sounded 

However, I was determined to leave the army, and I had to 
do something. Civilian employers did not want to hire men 
like me — ex-officers of the regular army — especially when the 
labour market was jammed with millions of unemployed. So I 
did as Lawrence suggested: I went to live with the Arabs. 
I am glad I did so. They taught me how to conquer worry. 
Like all faithful Moslems, they are fatalists. They believe that 
eveiy word Mohammed wrote in the Koran is the divine revela- 
tion of AEah. So when the Koran says: “God created you 
and all your actions,” they accept it literally. That is why 
they take life so calmly and never hurry or get into unnecessary 
tempers when things go wrong. They know that what is 
ordained is ordained; and no one but God can alter anything. 
However, that doesn't mean that in the face of disaster, they 
sit down and do nothing. To illustrate, let me tell you of a 
fierce, burning windstorm of the sirocco which I experienced 
when I was living in the Sahara. It howled and screamed for 
three days and nights. It was so strong, so fierce, that it blew 
sand from the Sahara hundreds of miles across the Mediter- 
ranean and sprinkled it over the Rhone Valley in France. The 
wind was so hot I felt as if the hair was being scorched off 
my head. My throat was parched. My eyes burned. My teeth 
were full of grit. I felt as if I were standing in front of a 
furnace in a glass factory. I was driven as near crazy as a 
man can be and retain his sanity. But the Arabs didn't com- 
plain, They shrugged their shoulders and said, "Mektoub!" 
. . . "It is written.” 



But immediately after the storm was over, they sprang into 
action : they slaughtered all the lambs because they knew they 
would die anyway; and by slaughtering them at once, they 
hoped to save the mother sheep. After the lambs were 
slaughtered, the flocks were driven southward to water. This 
was all done calmly, without worry or complaining or mourning 
over their losses. The tribal chief said: "It is not too bad. 
We might have lost everything. But praise God, we have 
forty per cent of our sheep left to make a new start. 0 

I remember another occasion, when we were motoring across 
the desert and a tyre blew out. The chauffeur had forgotten 
to mend the spare tyre. So there we were with only three 
tyres. I fussed and fumed and got excited and asked the Arabs 
what we were going to do. They reminded me that getting 
excited wouldn't help, that it only made one hotter. The blown- 
out tyre, they said, was the will of Allah and nothing could be 
done about it. So we started on, crawling along on the rim 
of a wheel. Presently the car spluttered and stopped. We were 
out of petrol 1 The chief merely remarked: " Mektoub V* And, 
there again, instead of shouting at the driver because he had 
not taken on enough petrol, everyone remained calm and we 
walked to our destination, singing as we went. 

The seven years I spent with the Arabs convinced me that 
the neurotics, the insane, the drunks of America and Europe 
are the product of the hurried and harassed lives we live in 
our so-called civilisation. 

As long as I lived in the Sahara, I had no worries. I found 
there, in the Garden of Allah, the serene contentment and 
physical well-being that so many of us are seeking with tense- 
ness and despair. 

Many people scoff at fatalism. Maybe they are right. Who 
knows? But all of us must be able to see how our fates are 
often determined for us. For example, if I had not spoken to 
Lawrence of Arabia at three minutes past noon on a hot August 
day in 1919, all the years that have elapsed since then would 
have been completely different. Looking back over my life, 
I can see how it has been shaped and moulded time and again 
by events far beyond my control. The Arabs call it mektopb, 



kismet — the will of Allah. Call it anything you wish. It does 
strange things to you. I only know that today — seventeen years 
after leaving the Sahara — I still maintain that happy resigna- 
tion to the inevitable which I learned from the Arabs. That 
philosophy has done more to settle my nerves than a thousand 
sedatives could have achieved. 

You and I are not Mohammedans: we don’t want to be fatalists. 
But when the fierce, burning winds blow over our lives — and we 
cannot prevent them— let us, too, accept the inevitable (see 
page 76). And then get busy and pick up the pieces. 

Five Methods I Use to Banish Worry 

by Professor William Lyon Phelps 

[I had the privilege of spending an afternoon with 
Billy Phelps, of Yale, shortly before his death. Here 
are the five methods he used to banish worry — based 
on the notes I took during that interview. 

— Dale Carnegie] 

I. When I was twenty-four years old, my eyes suddenly 
gave out. After reading three or four minutes, my eyes felt 
as if they were full of needles; and even when I was not read- 
ing, they were so sensitive that I could not face a window. 
I consulted the best occulists in New Haven and New York. 
Nothing seemed to help me. After four o’clock in the after- 
noon, I simply sat in a chair in the darkest comer of the room, 
waiting for bedtime. I was terrified. I feared that I would have 
to give up my career as a teacher and go out West and get 
a job as a lumberjack. Then a strange thing happened which 
shows the miraculous effects of the mind over physical ailments. 
When my eyes were at their worst that unhappy winter, I 
accepted an invitation to address a group of undergraduates. 



The hall was illuminated by huge rings of gas jets suspended 
from the ceiling. The lights pained my eyes so intensely that, 
while sitting on the platform, I was compelled to look at the 
floor. Yet during my thirty-minute speech, I felt absolutely 
no pain, and I could look directly at these lights without any 
blinking whatever. Then when the assembly was over, my eyes 
pained me again. 

I thought then that if I could keep my mind strongly con- 
centrated on something, not for thirty minutes, but for a week, 
I might be cured. For clearly it was a case of mental excite- 
ment triumphing over a bodily illness. 

I had a similar experience later while crossing the ocean. I 
had an attack of lumbago so severe that I could not walk. 
I suffered extreme pain when I tried to stand up straight. While 
in that condition, I was invited to give a lecture on shipboard. 
As soon as I began to speak, every trace of pain and stiffness 
left my body; I stood up straight, moved about with perfect 
flexibility, and spoke for an hour. When the lecture was over, 
I walked away to my stateroom with ease. For a moment, 
I thought I was cured. But the cure was only temporary. The 
lumbago resumed its attack. 

These experiences demonstrated to me the vital importance 
of one's mental attitude. They taught me the importance of 
enjoying life while you may. So I live every day now as if it 
were the first day I had ever seen and the last I were going 
to see. I am excited about the daily adventure of living, and 
nobody in a state of excitement will be unduly troubled with 
worries. I love my daily work as a teacher. I wrote a book 
entitled The Excitement of Teaching. Teaching has always 
been more than an art or an occupation to me. It is a passion. 
I love to teach as a painter loves to ’paint or a singer loves to 
sing. Before I get out of bed in the morning, I think with 
ardent delight of my first group of students. I have always 
felt that one of the chief reasons for success in life is 

II. I have found that I can crowd worry out of mind by 
reading an absorbing book. When I was fifty-nine, I had a 
prolonged nervous breakdown. During that period, I began 



reading David Alec Wilson's monumental Life of Carlyle. It 
bad a good deal to do with my convalescence because I became 
so absorbed in reading it that I forgot my despondency. 

III. At another time when 1 was terribly depressed, I forced 
myself to become physically active almost every hour of the 
day. I played five or six sets of violent games of tennis every 
morning, then took a bath, had lunch, and played eighteen 
holes of golf every afternoon. On Friday night I danced until 
one o'clock in the morning. I am a great believer in working 
up a tremendous sweat. I found that depression and worry 
oozed out of my system with the sweat. 

IV. ' I learned long ago to avoid the folly of hurry, rush, and 
working under tension. I have always tried to apply the 
philosophy of Wilbur Cross. When he was Governor of 
Connecticut, he said to me : “Sometimes when I have too many 
things to do all at once, I sit down and relax and smoke my 
pipe for an hour and do nothing." 

V. I have also learned that patience and time have a way 
of resolving our troubles. When I am worried about some- 
thing, I tiy to see my troubles in their proper perspective. I 
say to myself: “Two months from now I shall not be worry- 
ing about this bad break, so why worry about it now? Why 
not assume now the same attitude that I will have two months 
from now?" 

To sum up, here are the five ways in which Professor Phelps 
banished worry; 

I. Live with gusto and enthusiasm: “I live every day as if it 
were the first day I had ever seen and the last I were going 
to see." 

II. Read an interesting book: “When I had a prolonged 
nervous breakdowns ... I began reading ... the Life of 
Carlyle . . . and became so absorbed in reading it that I forgot 
my despondency." 

III. Play games: “When I was terribly depressed, I forced 
myself to become physically active almost every hour of the 


IV. Relax while you work: "I long ago learned to avoid the 
folly of hurry, rush, and working under tension.” 

V. "I try to see my troubles in their proper perspective . I say 
to myself, Two months from now I shall not be worrying about 
this bad break, so why worry about it now? Why not assume 
now the same attitude that I will have two months from now? ' ” 

/ Stood Yesterday. I Can Stand Today j 

by Dorothy Dix 

I have been through the depths of poverty and sickness. When 
people ask me what has kept me going through the troubles 
that come to all of us, I always reply: "I stood yesterday. 
I can stand today. And I will not permit myself to think about 
what might happen tomorrow.” 

I have known want and struggle and anxiety and despair. 
I have always had to work beyond the limit of my strength. 
As I look back upon my life, I see it as a battlefield strewn 
with the wrecks of dead dreams and broken hopes and shattered 
illusions — a battle in which I always fought with the odds 
tremendously against me, and which has left me scarred and 
bruised and maimed and old before my time. 

Yet I have no pity for myself; no tears to shed over the past 
and gone sorrows; no envy for the women who have been 
spared all I have gone through. For I have lived. They only 
existed. I have drunk the cup of life down to its very dregs. 
They have only sipped the bubbles on top if it. I know things 
they will never know. I see things to which they are blind. It 
is only the women whose eyes have been washed clear with 
tears who get the broad vision that makes them little sisters 
to all the world. 

I have learned in the great University of Hard Knocks a 
philosophy that no woman who has had an easy life ever 
acquires. I have learned to live each day as it comes and not 



to borrow trouble by dreading the morrow. It is the dark 
menace of the future that makes cowards of us. I put that 
dread from me because experience has taught me that when 
the time comes that I so fear, the strength and wisdom to meet 
it will be given me. Little annoyances no longer have the 
power to affect me. After you have seen your whole edifice 
of happiness topple and crash in ruins about you, it never 
matters to you again that a servant forgets to put the doylies 
under the finger bowls, or the cook spills the soup. 

I have learned not to expect too much of people, and so I 
can still get happiness out of the friend who isn't quite true 
to me or the acquaintance who gossips. Above all, I have 
acquired a sense of humour, because there were so many things 
over which I had either to ciy or laugh. And when a woman 
can joke over her troubles instead of having hysterics, nothing 
can ever hurt her much again. I do not regret the hardships 
I have known, because through them I have touched life at 
every point I have lived. And it was worth the price I had 
to pay. 

Dorothy Biz conquered worry by living in 4 ‘day-tight 55 
compartments. (See pages 7 - 17 ). 

I Did Not Expect to Live to See the Dawn 

by J. C. Penney 


[On April 14, 1902, a young man with five hundred dollars 
in cash and a million dollars in determination opened a dry- 
goods store in Kemmerer, Wyoming — a little mining town of 
a thousand people, situated on the old covered- wagon trail 
laid out by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. That young 
man and his wife lived in a half-storey attic above the store, 
using a large empty dry-goods box for a table and smaller 


boxes for chairs. The young wife wrapped her baby in a 
blanket and let it sleep under a counter while she stood beside 
it, helping her husband wait on customers. Today the largest 
chain of diy-goods stores in the world bears that man's 
name; the J* C. Penney stores — over sixteen hundred of 
them covering every state in the Union. I recently had 
dinner with Mr. Penney, and he told me about the most 
dramatic moment of his life.] 

Years ago, I passed through a most txying experience. I was 
worried and desperate. My worries were not connected in any 
way whatever with the J. C. Penney Company. That business 
was solid and thriving; but I personally had made some unwise 
commitments prior to the crash of 1929. Like many other men, 
I was blamed for conditions for which I was in no way 
responsible. I was so harassed with worries that I couldn't 
sleep, and developed an extremely painful ailment known as 
shingles — a red rash and skin eruptions, I consulted a 
physician — a man with whom I had gone to high school as a 
boy in Hamilton, Missouri; Dr. Elmer Eggleston, a staff 
physician at the Kellogg Sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan. 
Dr, Eggleston put me to bed and warned me that I was a very 
ill man. A rigid treatment was prescribed. But nothing helped. 
I got weaker day by day. I was broken nervously and 
physically, filled with despair, unable to see even a ray of hope. 
I had nothing to live for. I felt I hadn’t a friend left in the 
world, that even my family had turned against me. One night, 
Dr. Eggleston gave me a sedative, but the effect soon wore off 
and I awoke with an overwhelming conviction that this was 
my last night of life. Getting out of bed, I wrote farewell letters 
to my wife and to my son, saying that I did not expect to live 
to see the dawn. 

When I awoke the next morning, I was surprised to find 
that I was still alive. Going downstairs, I heard singing in a 
little chapel where devotional exercises were held each morn- 
ing. I can still remember the hymn they were singing: "God 
will take care of you/’ Going into the chapel, I listened with 
a weary heart to the singing, the reading of the Scripture lesson, 



and the prayer* Suddenly— something happened* I can't 
explain it. I can only call it a miracle. I felt as if I had been 
instantly lifted out of the darkness of a dungeon into warm, 
brilliant sunlight. I felt as if I had been transported from hell 
to paradise. I felt the power of God as I had never felt it 
before. I realised then that I alone was responsible for all my 
troubles. I knew that God with His love was there to help me. 
From that day to this, my life has been free from worry. I am 
seventy-one years old, and the most dramatic and glorious 
twenty minutes of my life were those I spent in that chapel 
that morning: “God will take care of you," 

J. C. Penney learned to overcome worry almost instantaneously, 
because he discovered the one perfect cure. (See page 81.) 

I Go to the Gym to Punch the Bag or Take a 
Hike Outdoors 

by Colonel Eddie Eagan 

New York Attorney, Rhodes Scholar 
Ch a irman, New York State Athletic Commission 
Former Olympic Light-Heavyweight Champion of the World 

When I find myself worrying and mentally going around in 
endless circles like a camel turning a water wheel in Egypt, 
a good physical work-out helps me to chase those “blues” 
away. It may be running or a long hike in the country, or it 
may be a half-hour of bag punching or squash tennis at the 
gymnasium. Whichever it is, physical exercise clears my 
mental outlook. On a week-end I do a lot of physical sport, 
such as a run' around the golf course, a game of paddle tennis, 
or a ski week-end in the Adixondacks. By my becoming 
physically tired, my mind gets a rest from legal problems, so 
that when I return to them, my mind has a new zest and power. 



Quite often in New York, where I work, there is a chance for 
me to spend an hour at the Yale Club gym. No man can worry 
while he is playing squash tennis or ski-ing. He is too busy 
to worry. The large mental mountains of trouble become 
minute molehills that new thoughts and acts quickly smooth 

1 find the best antidote for worry is exercise. Use your 
muscles more and your brain less when you are worried, and 
you will be surprised at the result. It works that way with me— 
worry goes when exercise begins. 

I Was “The Worrying Wreck from Virginia Tech ” 

by Jim Bikdsajll 

Plant Superintendent C. F. Muller Company 

180 Baldwin Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey 

Seventeen years ago, when I was in military college at Blacks- 
burg, Virginia, I was known as "the worrying wreck from 
Virginia Tech." I worried so violently that I often became ill. 
In fact, I was ill so often that I had a regular bed reserved for 
me at the college infirmary at all times. When the nurse saw 
me coming, she would run and give me a hypo. I worried 
about everything. Sometimes I even forgot what I was worry- 
ing about. I worried for fear I would be busted out of college 
because of my low grades. I had failed to pass my examinations 
in physics and other subjects, too. 1 knew I had to maintain 
an average grade of 75-84. I worried about my health, about 
my excruciating attacks of acute indigestion, about my in- 
somnia. I worried about financial matters. I felt badly because 
I couldn't buy my girl candy or take her to dances as often 
as I wanted to. I worried for fear she would marry one of 
the other cadets, I was in a lather day and night over a dozen 
intangible problems. 


In desperation, I poured out my troubles to Professor Duke 
Baird, professor of business administration at V.P.L 

The fifteen minutes that I spent with Professor Baird did 
more for my health and happiness than all the rest of the four 
years I spent in college. "Jim,” he said, "you ought to sit 
down and face the facts. If you devoted half as much time 
and energy to solving your problems as you do to worrying 
about them, you wouldn't have any worries. Worrying is just 
a vicious habit you have learned.” 

He gave me three rules to break the worry habit: 

Rule i. Find out precisely what is the problem you .are 
worrying about. 

Rule 2, Find out the cause of the problem. 

Rule 3. Do something constructive at once about solving the 

After that interview, I did a bit of constructive planning. 
Instead of worrying because I had failed to pass physics, I now 
asked myself why I had failed. I knew it wasn't because I was 
dumb, for I was editor-in-chief of The Virginia Tech Engineer. 

I figured that I had faded physics because I had no interest in 
the subject. I had not applied myself because I couldn't see 
how it would help me in my work as an industrial engineer. 
But now I changed my attitude, I said to myself, "If the 
college authorities demand that I pass my physics examination 
before I obtain a degree, who am I to question their wisdom?" 

So I enrolled for physics again. This time I passed because 
instead of wasting my time in resentment and worrying about 
how hard it was, I studied diligently. 

I solved my financial worries by taking on some additional 
jobs, such as selling punch at the college dances, and by borrow- 
ing money from my father, which I paid back soon after 

I solved my love worries by proposing to the girl that I 
feared might marry another cadet. She is now Mrs. Jim 

As I look back at it now, I can see that my problem was one 



of confusion, a disinclination to find the causes of my worry 
and face them realistically, 

Jim Birdsall learned to stop worrying because he analysed 
his troubles. In fact* he used the very principles described in 
the chapter “How to Analyse and Solve Worry Problems.” 
(See page 87.) 

I Have Lived by This Sentence 

by Dr. Joseph R. Sizoo 

President, New Brunswick Theological Seminary 
(The oldest theological seminary in the United States, founded 

in 1784) 

Years ago, in a day of uncertainty and disillusionment, when 
my whole life seemed to be overwhelmed by forces beyond my 
control, one morning quite casually I opened my New Testa- 
ment and my eyes fell upon this sentence, “He that sent me 
is with me — the Father hath not left me alone.” My life has 
never been the same since that hour. Everything for me has 
been for ever different after that. I suppose that not a day 
has passed that I have not repeated it to myself. > Many have 
come to me for counselling during these years, and I have 
always sent them away with this sustaining sentence. Ever 
since that hour when my eyes fell upon it, I have lived by 
this sentence. I have waited with it ‘and I have found in it my 
peace and strength. To me it is the very essence of religion. 
It lies at the rock bottom of everything that makes life worth 
living. It is the Golden Text of my life. 



I Hit Bottom and Survived 

by Ted Ericksen 

16,237 South Comuta Avenue, Bellflower, California 
Southern California Representative 
National Enamelling and Stamping Company 

I used to be a terrible “worry wart”. But no more. In the 
summer of 1942, I had an experience that banished worry from 
my life— for all time, I hope. That experience made every other 
trouble seem small by comparison. 

For years I had wanted to spend a summer on a commercial 
fishing craft in Alaska, so in 1942 I signed on a thirty-two-foot 
salmon seining vessel out of Kodiak, Alaska. On a craft of this 
size, there is a crew of only three: the skipper who does the 
supervising, a No. 2 man who assists the skipper, and a general 
work horse, who is usually a Scandinavian. I am a 

Since salmon seining has to be done with the tides, I often 
worked twenty hours out of twenty-four. I kept up that 
schedule for a week at a time. I did everything that nobody 
else wanted to do. I washed the craft. I put away the gear. 
I cooked on a little wood-burning stove in a small cabin where 
the heat and fumes of the motor almost made me ill. I washed 
the dishes. I repaired the boat. I pitched the salmon from 
our boat into a tender that took the fish to a cannery. My feet 
were always wet in rubber boots. My boots were often filled 
with water, but I had no time to empty them. But all that 
was play compared to my tnain job, which was pulling what is 
called the “cork line". That operation simply means placing 
your feet on the stem of the craft and pulling in the corks 
and the webbing of the net. At least, that is what you are 
supposed to do. But, in reality, the net was so heavy that 
when I tried to pull it in, it wouldn't budge. What really 
happened was that in trying to pull in the cork line, I actually 
pulled in the boat. I pulled it along on my own power, since 



the net stayed where it was. I did all this for weeks on end. It 
was almost the end of me, too. I ached horribly. I ached 
all over. I ached for months. 

When I finally did have a chance to rest, I slept on a damp 
lumpy mattress piled on top of the provisions locker. I would 
put one of the lumps in the mattress under the part of my 
back that hurt most — and sleep as if I had been drugged. I 
was dragged by complete exhaustion. 

I am glad now that I had to endure all that aching and 
exhaustion because it has helped me stop worrying. Whenever 
I am confronted by a problem now — instead of worrying about 
it, I say to myself, "Ericksen, could this possibly be as bad as 
p ullin g the cork line? ” And Ericksen invariably answers, "No, 
nothing could be that bad! ” So I cheer up and tackle it with 
courage. I believe it is a good thing to have to endure an 
agonising experience occasionally. It is good to know that we 
have hit bottom and survived. That makes all our daily 
problems seem easy by comparison. 

I Used to Be One of the World's Biggest Jackasses 

by Percy H. Whiting 

Managing Director, Dale Carnegie and Company 
50 East 42nd Street, New York, New York 

I have died more times from more different diseases than any 
other man, living, dead, or half dead. 

I was no ordinary hypochondriac. My father owned a drug- 
store, and I was practically brought up in it. I talked to 
doctors and nurses every day, so I knew the names and 
symptoms of more and worse diseases than the average layman. 
I was no ordinary hypo — I had symptoms I I could worry for 
an hour or two over a disease and then have practically all 
the symptoms of a man who was suffering from it. I recall once 



that, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the town in which 
I lived, we had a rather severe diphtheria epidemic. In my 
father's drug-store, I had been selling medicines day after 
day to people who came from infected homes. Then the evil 
that I feared came upon me : I had diphtheria myself. I was 
positive I had it. I went to bed and worried myself into the 
standard symptoms. I sent for a doctor. He looked me over 
and said, "Yes, Percy, you've got it." That relieved my mind. 
I was never afraid of any disease when I had it — so I turned 
over and went to sleep. The next morning I was in perfect 

For years I distinguished myself and got a lot of attention and 
sympathy by specialising in unusual and fantastic diseases — I 
died several times of both lockjaw and hydrophobia. Later on, 
I settled down to having the ran-of-mill ailments — specialising 
on cancer and tuberculosis. 

I can laugh about it now, but it was tragic then. I honestly 
and literally feared for years that I was walking on the edge 
of the grave. When it came time to buy a suit of clothes in 
the spring, I would ask myself: "Should I waste this money 
when I know I can't possibly live to wear this suit out?" 

However, I am happy to report progress: in the past ten 
years, I haven't died even once. 

How did I stop dying? By kidding myself out of my 
ridiculous imaginings. Every time I felt the dreadful symptoms 
coming on, I laughed at myself and said: "See here, Whiting, 
you have been dying from one fatal disease after another now 
for twenty years, yet you are in first-class health today. An 
insurance company recently accepted you for more insurance. 
Isn't it about time, Whiting, that you stood aside and had a 
good laugh at the worrying jackass you are?" 

I soon found that I couldn't worry about myself and laugh 
at myself at one and the same time. So I've been Ikughing at 
myself ever since. 

The point of this is: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Try * ‘yust 
laughing” at some of your sillier worries, and see if you can’t 
laugh them out of existence. 

28 q 


I Have Always Tried to Keep My Line 
of Supplies Open 

by Gene Autry 

The world's most famous and beloved singing cowboy 

I figure that most worries are about family troubles and 
money. I was fortunate in marrying a small-town Oklahoma 
girl who had the same background I had and enjoyed the same 
things. We both try to follow the golden rule, so we have kept 
our family troubles to a minimum. 

I have kept my financial worries to a minimum also by doing 
two things. First, I have always followed a rule of absolute 
one hundred per cent integrity in everything. When I 
borrowed money, I paid back every penny. Few things cause 
more worry than dishonesty. 

Second, when I started a new venture, I always kept on ace 
in the hole. Military experts say that the first principle of 
fighting a battle is to keep your line of supplies open. I figure 
that that principle applies to personal battles almost as much 
as to military battles. For example, as a lad down in Texas 
and Oklahoma, I saw some real poverty when the country 
was devastated by droughts. We had mighty hard scratching 
at times to make a living. We were so poor that my father used 
to drive across the country in a covered wagon with a string 
of horses and swap horses to make a living. I wanted some- 
thing more reliable than that. So I got a job working for a 
railway-station agent and learned telegraphy in my spare time. 
Later, I got a job working as relief operator for the Frisco 
Railway. I was sent here, there, and yonder to relieve other 
station agents who were ill or on vacation or had more work 
than they could do. That job paid $150 per month. Later, 
when I started out to better myself, I always figured that that 
railroad job meant economic safety. So I always kept the 
road open back to that job. It was my line of supplies, and 


I never cut myself off from it until I was firmly established 
in a new and better position. 

For example, back in 1928, when I was working as a relief 
operator for the Frisco Railway in Chelsea, Oklahoma, a 
stranger drifted in one evening to send a telegram. He heard 
me playing the guitar and singing cowboy songs and told me 
I was good — told me that I ought to go to New York and get 
a job on the stage or radio. Naturally, I was flattered; and 
when I saw the name he signed to his telegram, I was almost 
breathless: Will Rogers , 

Instead of rushing off to New York at once, I thought the 
matter over carefully for nine months. I finally came to the 
conclusion that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain 
by going to New York and giving the old town a whirl. I had 
a railroad pass: I could travel free. I could sleep sitting up in 
my seat, and I could carry some sandwiches and fruit for my 

So I went. When I reached New York, I slept in a furnished 
room for five dollars a week, ate at the Automat, and tramped 
the streets for ten weeks — and got nowhere. I would have 
been worried sick if I hadn't had a job to go back to. I had 
already worked for the railway five years. That meant I had 
seniority rights; but in order to protect those rights, I couldn't 
lay off longer than ninety days. By this time, I had already 
been in New York seventy days, so I rushed back to Oklahoma 
on my pass and began working again to protect my line of 
supply. I worked for a few months, saved money, and re- 
turned to New York for another try. This time I got a break. 
One day, while waiting for an interview in a recording-studio 
office, I played my guitar and sang a song to the girl recep- 
tionist: "Jeannine, I Dream of Lilac Time", While I was 
singing that song, the man who wrote it — Nat Schildkraut — 
drifted into the office. Naturally, he was pleased to hear any- 
one singing Ms song. So he gave me a note of introduction 
and sent me down to the Victor Recording Company. I made 
a record. I was no good — too stiff and self-conscious. So I took 
the advice of the Victor Recording man: I went back to Tulsa, 
worked for the railway by day, and at night I sang cowboy 


songs on a sustaining radio programme. I liked that arrange- 
ment. It meant that I was keeping my line of supplies open — 
so I had no worries. 

I sang for nine months on radio station KVOO in Tulsa. 
During that time, Jimmy Long and I wrote a song entitled 
"That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine". It caught on. Arthur 
Sattherly, head of the American Recording Company, asked 
me to make a recording. It clicked. I made a number of other 
recordings for fifty dollars each, and finally got a job singing 
cowboy songs over radio station WLS in Chicago, Salary : 
forty dollars a week. After singing there four years, my salary 
was raised to ninety dollars a week, and I picked up another 
three hundred dollars doing personal appearances every night 
in theatres. 

Then in 1934, I got a break that opened up enormous 
possibilities. The League of Decency was formed to clean up 
the movies. So Hollywood producers decided to put on cowboy 
pictures; but they wanted a new kind of cowboy — one who 
could sing. The man who owned the American Recording 
Company was also part owner of Republic Pictures. "If you 
want a singing cowboy," he said to his associates, "I have got 
one making records for us." That is how I broke into the 
movies. I started making singing-cowboy pictures for one 
hundred dollars a week. I had serious doubts about whether 
I would succeed in pictures, but I didn't worry. I knew I could 
always go back to my old job. 

My success in pictures exceeded my wildest expectations. I 
now get a salary of one hundred thousand a year plus one half 
of all the profits on my pictures. However, I realise that this 
arrangement won't go on for ever. But I am not worried. I 
know that no matter what happens— ^even if I lose every dollar 
I have — I can always go back to Oklahoma and get a job work- 
ing for the Frisco Railway. I have protected my line of supplies. 



1 Heard a Voice in India 

by E. Stanley Jones 

One of America's most dynamic speakers and the most famous 
missionary of his generation 

I have devoted forty years of my life to missionary work in 
India. A first, I found it difficult to endure the terrible heat plus 
the nervous strain of the great task that stretched before me. 
At the end of eight years, I was suffering so severely from brain 
fatigue and nervous exhaustion that I collapsed, not once but 
several times. I was ordered to take a year’s furlough in 
America. On the boat returning to America, I collapsed again 
while speaking at a Sunday-morning service on the ship, 
and the ship's doctor put me to bed for the remainder of the 

After a year’s rest in America, I started back to India, but 
stopped on the way to hold evangelistic meetings among the 
university students in Manila. In the midst of the strain of these 
meetings, I collapsed several times. Physicians warned me that 
if I returned to India, I would die. In spite of their warnings, 1 
continued on to India, but I went with a deepening cloud upon 
me. When I arrived in Bombay, I was so broken that I went 
straight to the hills and rested for several months. Then I 
returned to the plains to continue my work. It was no use. I 
collapsed and was forced to return to the hills for another long 
rest. Again I descended to the plains, and again I was shocked 
and crushed to discover that I couldn’t take it. I was exhausted 
mentally, nervously, and •physically. I was completely at the 
end of my resources. I feared that I would be a physical wreck 
for the balance of my life. 

If I didn’t get help from somewhere, I realised that I would 
have to give up my missionary career, go back to America, and 
woTk on a farm to try to regain my health. It was one of my 
darkest hours. At that time T was holding a series of meetings 
in Lucknow. While praying one night, an event happened that 



completely transformed my life. While in prayer— and I was 
not particularly thinking about myself at the time — a voice 
seemed to say, “Are you yourself ready for this work to which 
I have called you?” 

I replied: “No Lord, I am done for. I have reached the end 
of my resources.” 

The Voice replied, "If you will turn that over to Me and not 
worry about it, I will take care of it.” 

I quickly answered, ''Lord, I close the bargain right here.” 

A great peace settled into my heart and pervaded my whole 
being. I knew it was done! life— abundant life — had taken 
possession of me. I was so lifted up that I scarcely touched 
the road as I quietly walked home that night. Every inch was 
holy ground. For days after that I hardly knew I had a body. 
I went through the days, working all day and far into the night, 
and came down to bedtime wondering why in the world I should 
ever go to bed at all, for there was not the slightest trace of tired- 
ness of any kind. I seemed possessed by life and peace and 
rest — by Christ Himself. 

The question came as to whether I should tell this. I shrank 
from it, but I felt I should — and did. After that it was sink 
or swim before everybody. More than a score of the most 
strenuous years of my life have gone by since then, but the old 
trouble has never returned. I have never had such health. But 
it was more than a physical touch. I seemed to have tapped 
new life for body, mind, and spirit. After that experience, life 
for me functioned on a permanently higher level. And I had 
done nothing but take it ! 

During the many years that have gone by since then, I have 
travelled all over the world, frequently lecturing three times a 
day, and have found time and strength to write The Christ of 
the Indian Road and eleven other books. Yet in the midst of all 
this, I have never missed, or even been late to, an appointment. 
The worries that once beset me have long since vanishd, and 
now, in my sixty-third year, I am overflowing with abounding 
vitality and the joy of serving and living for others. 

I suppose that the physical and mental transformation that I 
have experienced could be picked to pieces psychologically and 


explained. It does not matter. Life is bigger than processes 
and overflows and dwarfs them. 

This one thing I know : my life was completely transformed 
and uplifted that night in Lucknow, thirty-one years ago, when 
at the depth of my weakness and depression, a voice said to me : 
"If you will turn that over to Me and not worry about it, I will 
take care of it," and I replied, "Lord, I close the bargain right 

When the Sheriff Came in Mv Front Door 

by Homer Croy 

Novelist, 150 Pmehurst Avenue, New York, New York 

The bitterest moment of my life occurred one day in 1933 when 
the sheriff came in the front door and I went out the back. I 
had lost my home at 10 Standish Road, Forest Hills, Long 
Island, where my children were bom and where I and my 
family had lived for eighteen years. I had never dreamed that 
this could happen to me. Twelve years before, I thought I was 
sitting on top of the world. I had sold the motion-picture rights 
to my novel West of the Water Tower for a top Hollywood price. 
I lived abroad with my family for two years. We summered in 
Switzerland and wintered on the French Riviera — just like the 
idle rich. 

I spent six months in Paris and wrote a novel entitled They 
Had to See Pans . Will Rogers appeared in the screen version. 
It was his first talking picture. I had tempting offers to remain 
in Hollywood and write several of Will Rogers' pictures. But 
I didn't. I returned to New York. And my troubles began l 
It slowly dawned on me that I had great dormant abilities that 
I had never developed. I began to fancy myself a shrewd busi- 
ness man. Somebody told me that John Jacob Astor had made 
millions investing in vacant land in New York. Who was Astor? 
Just an immigrant peddler with an accent. If he could do it, 


why couldn't I ? ... I was going to be rich ! I began to read 
the yachting magazines. 

I had the courage of ignorance. I didn't know any more 
about buying and selling real estate than an Eskimo knows 
about oil furnaces. How was I to get the money to launch my- 
self on my spectacular financial career? That was simple. I 
mortgaged my home, and bought some of the finest building 
lots in Forest Hills. I was going to hold this land until it reached 
a fabulous price, then sell it and live in luxury — I who had 
never sold a piece of real estate as big as a doll's handkerchief. 
I pitied the plodders who slaved in offices for a mere salary. I 
told myself that God had not seen fit to touch every man with 
the divine fire of financial genius. 

Suddenly, the great depression swept down upon me like a 
Kansas cyclone and shook me as a tornado would shake a hen 

I had to pour $220 a month into that monster-mouthed piece 
of Good Earth. Oh, how fast those months came! In addition. 
I had to keep up the payments on our now-mortgaged house 
and find enough food. I was worried. I tried to write humour 
for the magazines. My attempts at humour sounded like the 
lamentations of Jeremiah l I was unable to sell anything. The 
novel I wrote failed. I ran out of money. I had nothing on 
which I could borrow money except my typewriter and the gold 
fillings in my teeth. The milk company stopped delivering milk. 
The gas company turned off the gas. We had to buy one of 
those little outdoor camp stoves you see advertised; it had a 
cylinder of gasoline; you pump it up by hand and it shoots out 
a flame with a hissing like an angry goose. 

We ran out of coal; the company sued us. Our only heat was 
the fireplace. I would go out at night and pick up boards and 
leftovers from the new homes that the rich people were building 
... I who had started out to be one of these rich people. 

I was so worried I couldn't sleep. I often got up in the middle 
of the night and walked for hours to exhaust myself so I could 
fall asleep. 

I lost not only the vacant land I had bought, but all my 
heart's blood that I had poured into it. 


The bank closed the mortgage on my home and put me and 
my family out on the street. 

In some way, we managed to get hold of a few dollars and 
rent a small apartment. We moved in the last day of 1933. I sat 
down on a packing case and looked around. An old saying of 
my mother's came back: "Don't cry over spilt milk." 

But this wasn't milk. This was my heart's blood ! 

After I had sat there a while I said to myself, "Well, I've hit 
bottom and I've stood it. There's no place to go now but up." 

I began to think of the fine things that the mortgage had not 
taken from me. I still had my health and my friends. I would 
start again. I would not grieve about the past. I would repeat 
to myself every day the words I had often heard my mother 
say about spilt milk. 

I put into my work the energy that I had been putting into 
worrying. Little by little, my situation began to improve. I am 
almost thankful now that I had to go through all that misery; it 
gave me strength, fortitude, and confidence. I know now what 
it means to hit bottom. I know it doesn't kill you. I know we 
can stand more than we think we can. When little worries and 
anxieties and uncertainties try to disturb me now. I banish 
them by reminding myself of the time I sat on the packing case 
and said: "I've hit bottom and I've stood it. There is no place 
to go now but up." 

What’s the principle here? Don’t try to saw sawdust. Accept 
the inevitable! If you can’t go lower, you can try going up. 

The Toughest Opponent I Ever Fought Was Worry 

by Jack Dempsey 

During my career in the ring, I found that Old Man Worry was 
an almost tougher opponent than the heavyweight boxers I 
fought. I realised that I had to learn to stop worrying, or worry 



would sap my vitality and undermine my success. So, little by 
little, I worked out a system for myself. Here are some of the 
things I did : 

1. To keep up my courage in the ring, I would give myself 
a pep talk during the fight. For example, while I was fighting 
Firpo, I kept saying over and over. "Nothing is going to stop 
me. He is not going to hurt me. I won't feel his blows. I can't 
get hurt. I am going to keep going, no matter what happens." 
Making positive statements like that to myself, and thinking 
positive thoughts, helped me a lot. It even kept my mind so 
occupied that I didn't feel the blows. During my career, I have 
had my lips smashed, my eyes cut, my ribs cracked — and Firpo 
knocked me clear through the ropes, and I landed on a re- 
porter's typewriter and wrecked it. But I never felt even one of 
Firpo' s blows. There was only one blow that 1 ever really felt. 
That was the night Lester Johnson broke three of my ribs. The 
punch never hurt me; but it affected my breathing. I can 
honestly say I never felt any other blow I ever got in the ring. 

2. Another thing I did was to keep reminding myself of the 
futility of worry. Most of my worrying was done before the big 
bouts, while I was going through training. I would often lie 
awake at nights for hours, tossing and worrying, unable to sleep. 
I would worry for fear I might break my hand or sprain my 
ankle or get my eye cut badly in the first round so I couldn't 
co-ordinate my punches. When I got myself into this state of 
nerves, I used to get out of bed, look into the mirror, and give 
myself a good talking to. I would say: "What a fool you are 
to be worrying about something that hasn't happened and may 
never happen. Life is short. I have only a few years to live, so 
I must enjoy life." I kept saying to myself, "Nothing is im- 
portant but my health. Nothing is important but my health." 
I kept reminding myself that losing sleep and worrying would 
destroy my health. I found that by saying these things to my- 
self over and over, night after night, year after year, they 
finally got under my skin, and I could brush off my worries like 
so much water. 

3. The third — and best— thing I did was pray 1 While I was 
training for a bout, I always prayed several times a day. When 



I was in the ring, I always prayed just before the bell sounded 
for each round. That helped me fight with courage and con- 
fidence. I have never gone to bed in my life without saying a 
prayer; and I have never eaten a meal in my life without first 
thanking God for it . . . Have my prayers been answered? 
Thousands of times ! 

I Prayed to God to Keep Me Out of an 
Orphan’s Home 

by Kathleen Halter 

Housewife, 1074 Roth, University City 14, Missouri 

As a little child, my life was filled with horror. My mother had 
heart trouble. Day after day, I saw her faint and fall to the 
floor. We all feared she was going to die, and I believed that all 
little girls whose mothers died were sent to the Central Wesleyan 
Orphans’ Home, located in the little town of Warrenton, 
Missouri, where we lived. I dreaded the thought of going there, 
and when I was six years old I prayed constantly: “Dear God, 
please let my mummy live until I am old enough not to go to 
the orphans’ home.” 

Twenty years later, my brother, Meiner, had a terrible injury 
and suffered intense pain until he died two years later. He 
couldn’t feed himself or turn over in bed. To deaden his pain, 
I had to give him morphine hypodermics every three hours, 
day and night, I did this foi two years. I was teaching music 
at the time at the Central Wesleyan College in Warrenton, 
Missouri. When the neighbours heard my brother screaming 
with pain, they would telephone me at college and I would leave 
my music class and rush home to give my brother another injec- 
tion of morphine. Every night when I went to bed, I would set 
the alarm clock to go off three hours later so I would be sure 
to get up to attend to my brother. I remember that on winter 
nights I would keep a bottle of milk outside the window, where 


it would freeze and turn into a kind of ice cream that I loved 
to eat. When the alarm went off, this ice cream outside the 
window gave me an additional incentive to get up. 

In the midst of all these troubles, I did two things that kept 
me from indulging in self-pity and worrying and embittering 
my life with resentment. First, I kept myself busy teaching 
music from twelve to fourteen hours a day, so I had little time 
to think of my troubles; and when I was tempted to feel sorry 
for myself, I kept saying to myself over and over, “Now, listen, 
as long as you can walk and feed yourself and are free from 
intense pain, you ought to be the happiest person in the world. 
No matter what happens, never forget that as long as you live l 
Never! Never!" 

I was determined to do everything in my power to cultivate 
an unconscious and continuous attitude of gratefulness for my 
many blessings. Every morning when I awoke, I would thank 
God that conditions were no worse than they were; and I re- 
solved that in spite of my troubles I would be the happiest 
person in Warrenton, Missouri. Maybe I didn't succeed in 
achieving that goal, but I did succeed in making myself the most 
grateful young woman in my town — and probably few of my 
associates worried less than I did. 

This Missouri music teacher applied two principles described 
in this book: she kept too busy to worry, and she counted her 
blessings. The same technique may be helpful to you. 

I Was Acting Like an Hysterical Woman 
by Cameron Shipp 
Magazine Writer 

I had been working very happily in the publicity department of 
the Warner Brothers studio in California for several years. I 
was a unit man and feature writer. I wrote stories for news- 
papers and magazines about Warner Brother stars. 



Suddenly, I was promoted, I was made the assistant publicity 
director. As a matter of fact, there was a change of administra- 
tive policy, and I was given an impressive title : Administrative 

This gave me an enormous office with a private refrigerator, 
two secretaries, and complete charge of a staff of seventy-five 
writers, exploiters, and radio men. I was enormously impressed. 

I went straight out and bought a new suit. I tried to speak with 
dignity. I set up filing systems, made decisions with authority, 
and ate quick lunches. 

I was convinced that the whole public-relations policy of 
Warner Brothers had descended upon my shoulders. I perceived 
that the lives, both private and public, of such renowned per- 
sons as Bette Davis, Olivia De Havilland, James Cagney, 
Edward G. Robinson, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Ann 
Sheridan, Alexis Smith, and Alan Hale were entirely in my 

In less than a month I became aware that I had stomach 
ulcers. Probably cancer. 

My chief war activity at that time was chairman of the War 
Activities Committee of the Screen Publicists Guild. I liked to 
do this work, liked to meet my friends at guild meetings. But 
these gatherings became matters of dread. After every meeting, 

I was violently ill. Often I had to stop my car on the way * 
home, pulling myself together before I could drive on. There 
seemed to be so much to do, so little time in which to do it. It 
was all vital. And I was woefully inadequate. 

I am being perfectly truthful — this was the most painful 
illness of my entire life. There was always a tight fist in 
my vitals. I lost weight. I could not sleep. The pain was 

So I went to see a renowned expert in internal medicine. An 
advertising man recommended him. He said this physician had 
many clients who were advertising men. 

This physician spoke only briefly, just enough for me to tell 
him where I hurt and what I did for a living. He seemed more 
interested in, my job than in my ailments, but I was soon 
reassured : for two weeks, daily, he gave me every known test. 



I was probed, explored, X-rayed, and flouroscoped. Finally, I 
was instructed to call on him and hear the verdict, 

“Mr. Shipp,” he said, leaning back and offering me a cigar- 
ette, “we have been through these exhaustive tests. They were 
absolutely necessary, although I knew of course after my first 
quick examination that you did not have stomach ulcers. 

“But I knew, because you are the kind of man you are and 
because you do the kind of work you do, that you would not 
believe me unless I showed you. Let me show you,” 

So he showed me the charts and the X-rays and explained 
them. He showed me I had no ulcers. 

“Now,” said the doctor, “this costs you a good deal of 
money, but it is worth it to you. Here is the prescription: 
don't worry. 

“Now” — he stopped me as I started to expostulate — “now, 
I realise that you can't follow the prescription immediately, so 
I’ll give you a crutch. Here are some pills. They contain bella- 
donna. Take as many as you like. When you use these up, 
come back and I'll give you more. They won't hurt you. But 
they will always relax you. 

“But remember: you don't need them. All you have to do 
is quit worrying. 

“If you do start worrying again, you'll have to come back 
here and I'll charge you a heavy fee again. How about it?” 

I wish I could report that the lesson took effect that day and 
that I quit worrying immediately. I didn't. I took the pills 
for several weeks, whenever I felt a worry coming on. They 
worked. I felt better at once. 

But I felt silly taking these pills. I am a big man physically. I 
am almost as tall as Abe Lincoln was — and I weigh almost two 
hundred pounds. Yet here I was taking little white pills to relax 
myself. I was acting like an hysterical woman. When my friends 
asked me why I was taking pills, I was ashamed to tell the 
truth. Gradually I began to laugh at myself. I said : “See here, 
Cameron Shipp, you are acting like a fool. You are taking your- 
self and your little activities much, much too seriously. Bette 
Davis and James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson were world- 
famous before you started to handle their publicity; and if you 



dropped dead tonight, Warner Brothers and their stars would 
manage to get along without you. Look at Eisenhower, General 
Marshall, MacArthur, Jimmy Doolittle and Admiral King — they 
are running the war without taking pills. And yet you can't 
serve as chairman of the War Activities Committee of die Screen 
Publicists Guild without taking little white pills to keep your 
stomach from twisting and turning like a Kansas whirlwind." 

I began to take pride in getting along without the pills. A 
little while later, I threw the pills down the drain and got home 
each night in time to take a little nap before dinner and gradu- 
ally began to lead a normal life. I have never been back to see 
that physician. 

But I owe him much, much more than what seemed like a stiff 
fee at the time. He taught me to laugh at myself. But I think 
the really skilful thing he did was to refrain from laughing at 
me, and to refrain from telling me I had nothing to worry about . 
He took me seriously. He saved my face. He gave me an out 
in a small box. But he knew then, as well as I know now, that 
the cure wasn't in those silly little pills — the cure was in a 
change in my mental attitude. 

The moral of this story is that many a man who is now taking 
pills would do better to read Chapter 7, and relax. 

I Learned to Stop Worrying by Watching My 
Wife Wash Dishes 

by Reverend William Wood 

204 Hurlbert Street, Charlevoix, Michigan 

A few years ago, I was suffering intensely from pains in my 
stomach. I would awaken two or three times each night, unable 
to sleep because of these terrific pains. I had watched my 
father die from cancer of the stomach, and I feared that I too 


had a stomach cancer — or, at least, stomach ulcers. So I went 
to Byrne's Clinic at Petosky, Michican, for an examination. 
Dr. Lilga, a stomach specialist, examined me with a fluoroscope 
and took an X-ray of my stomach. He gave me medicine to 
make me sleep and assured me that I had no stomach ulcers or 
cancer. My stomach pains, he said, were caused by emotional 
strains. Since I am a minister, one of his first questions was: 
"Do you have an old crank on your church board?" 

He told me what I already knew; I was trying to do too much. 
In addition to my preaching every Sunday and carrying the 
burdens of the various activities of the church, I was also chair- 
man of the Red Cross, president of the Kiwanis. I also con- 
ducted two or three funerals each week and a number of other 

I was working under constant pressure. I could never relax. 
I was always tense, hurried, and high-strung. I got to the point 
where I worried about everything. I was living in a constant 
dither. I was in such pain that I gladly acted on Dr. Lilga's 
advice. I took Monday off each week, and began eliminating 
various responsibilities and activities. 

One day while cleaning out my desk, I got an idea that proved 
to be immensely helpful. I was looking over an accumulation 
of old notes on sermons and other memos on matters that were 
now past and gone. I crumpled them up one by one and tossed 
them into the wastebasket. Suddenly I stopped and said to my- 
self, “Bill, why don't you do the same thing with your worries 
that you are doing with these notes? Why don't you crumple 
up your worries about yesterday's problems and toss them into 
the wastebasket?" That one idea gave me immediate inspira- 
tion — gave me the feeling of a weight being lifted from my 
shoulders. From that day to this, I have made it a rule to throw 
into the wastebasket all the problems that I can no longer do 
anything about. 

Then, one day while wiping the dishes as my wife washed 
them, I got another idea. My wife was singing as she washed 
the dishes, and I said to myself, “Look, Bill, how happy your 
wife is. We have been married eighteen years, and she has been 
washing dishes all that time. Suppose when we got married she 



had looked ahead and seen all the dishes she would have to 
wash during those eighteen years that stretched ahead. That 
pile of dirty dishes would be bigger than a bam. The very 
thought of it would have appalled any woman/' 

Then I said to myself, “The reason my wife doesn't mind 
washing the dishes is because she washes only one day's dishes 
at a time." I saw what my trouble was. I was trying to wash 
today's dishes, yesterday's dishes and dishes that weren't even 
dirty yet. 

I saw how foolishly I was acting. I was standing in the pulpit, 
Sunday mornings, telling other people how to live, yet, I myself 
was leading a tense, worried, hurried existence. I felt ashamed 
of myself. 

Worries don't bother me any more now. No more stomach 
pains. No more insomnia. I now cmmple up yesterday's 
anxieties and toss them into the wastebasket, and I have ceased 
trying to wash tomorrow's dirty dishes today. 

Do you remember a statement quoted earlier in this book? 
“The load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday, carried 
today, makes the strongest falter. 55 . . . Why even try itP (See 

page 8.) 

I Found the Answer— Keep Busy! 

by Del Hughes 

Public Accountant, 60 y South Euclid Avenue, Bay City, 

In 1943 I landed in a veterans' hospital in Albuquerque, New 
Mexico, with three broken ribs and a punctured lung. This had 
happened during a practice Marine amphibious landing off the 
Hawaiian Islands. I was getting ready to jump off the barge, 
on to the beach, when a big breaker swept in, lifted the barge. 


and threw me off balance and smashed me on the sands. I fell 
with such force that one of my broken ribs punctured my right 

After spending three months in the hospital, I got the biggest 
shock of my life. The doctors told me that I showed absolutely 
no improvement. After some serious thinking, I figured that 
worry was preventing me from getting well. I had been used to 
a very active life, and during these three months I had been flat 
on my back twenty-four hours a day with nothing to do but 
think. The more I thought, the more I worried : worried about 
whether I would ever be able to take my place in the world. I 
worried about whether I would remain a cripple the rest of my 
life, and about whether I would ever be able to get married and 
live a normal life. 

I urged my doctor to move me up to the next ward, which 
was called the “Country Club 0 because the patients were 
allowed to do almost anything they cared to do. 

In this “Country Club” ward, I became interested in contract 
bridge. I spent six weeks learning the game, playing bridge 
with the other fellows, and reading Culbertson's books on 
bridge. After six weeks, I was playing nearly every evening 
for the rest of my stay in the hospital. I also became interested 
in painting with oils, and I studied this art under an instructor 
every afternoon from three to five. Some of my paintings were 
so good that you could almost tell what they were ! I also tried 
my hand at soap and wood carving, and read a number of 
books on the subject and found it fascinating. I kept myself 
so busy that I had no time to worry about my physical con- 
dition. I even found time to read books on psychology given 
to me by the Red Cross. At the end of three months, the entire 
medical staff came to me and congratulated me on “making an 
amazing improvement. 0 Those were the sweetest words I had 
ever heard since the days I was bom. I wanted to shout with 

The point I am trying to make is this : when I had nothing 
to do but lie on the flat of my back and worry about my future, 
I made no improvement whatever. I was poisoning my body 
with worry. Even the broken ribs couldn't heal. But as soon as 



I got my mind off myself by playing contract bridge, painting 
oil pictures, and carving wood, the doctors declared I made 
"an amazing improvement". 

I am now leading a normal healthy life, and my lungs are as 
good as yours. 

Remember what George Bernard Shaw saidP 4 ‘The secret of 
being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether 
you are happy or not.” Keep active, keep busy! (See page 61.) 

I ime Solves a Lot of Things 

by Louis T. Montant, Jr. 

Sales and Market Analyst 
1 14 West 64th Street, New York, New York 

Worry caused me to lose ten years of my life. Those ten years 
should have been the most fruitful and richest years of any 
young man's life — the years from eighteen to twenty-eight. 

I realise now that losing those years was no one's fault but 
my own. 

I worried about everything : my job, my health, my family, 
and my feeling of inferiority. I was so frightened that I used 
to cross the street to avoid meeting people I knew. When I met 
a friend on the street, I would often pretend not to notice him, 
because I was afraid of being snubbed. 

I was so afraid of meeting strangers — so terrified in their 
presence — that in one space of two weeks I lost out on three 
different jobs simply because I didn't have the courage to tell 
those three different prospective employers what I knew I could 

Then one day eight years ago, I conquered worry in one after- 
noon — and have rarely worried since then. That afternoon I 
was in the office of a man who had had fax more troubles than 




I had ever faced, yet he was one of the most cheerful men 1 had 
ever known. He had made a fortune in 1929, and lost every 
cent. He had made another fortune in 1933, and lost that; and 
another fortune in 1937, and lost that, too. He had gone 
through bankruptcy and had been hounded by enemies and 
creditors. Troubles that would have broken some men and 
driven them to suicide rolled off him like water off a duck's 

As I sat in his office that day eight years ago, I envied him 
and wished that God had made me like him. 

As we were talking, he tossed a letter to me that he had re- 
ceived that morning and said, "Read that." 

It was an angry letter, raising several embarrassing questions. 
If I had received such a letter, it would have sent me into a tail- 
spin. I said, "Bill, how are you going to answer it?" 

"Well," Bill said, "I'll tell you a little secret. Next time 
you've really got something to worry about, take a pencil and a 
piece of paper, and sit down and write out in detail just what's 
worrying you. Then put that piece of paper in the lower right- 
hand drawer of your desk. Wait a couple of weeks, and then 
look at it. If what you wrote down still worries you when you 
read it, put that piece of paper back in your lower right-hand 
drawer. Let it sit there for another two weeks. It will be safe 
there. Nothing will happen to it. But in the meantime, a lot 
may happen to the problem that is worrying you. I have found 
that, if only I have patience, the worry that is hying to harass 
me will often collapse like a pricked balloon." 

That bit of advice made a great impression on me. I have 
been using Bill's advice for years now, and, as a result, I rarely 
worry about anything. 

Time solves a lot of things. Time may also solve what you are 
worrying about today. 



I Was Warned Mot to Try to Speak or to Move 
Even a Finger 

by Joseph L. Ryan 

Supervisor, Foreign Division, Royal Typewriter Company 

51 Judson Place, Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York 

Several years ago I was a witness in a lawsuit that caused me 
a great deal of mental strain and worry. After the case was 
over, and 1 was returning home in the train, I had a sudden 
and violent physical collapse. Heart trouble. I found it almost 
impossible to breathe. 

When I got home the doctor gave me an injection. I wasn’t 
in bed — I hadn’t been able to get any farther than the living- 
room settee. When I regained consciousness, I saw that the 
parish priest was already there to give me final absolution ! 

I saw the stunned grief on the faces of my family. I knew my 
number was up. Later, I found out that the doctor had pre- 
pared my wife for the fact that I would probably be dead in less 
than thirty minutes. My heart was so weak I was warned not 
to try to speak or to move even a finger. 

I had never been a saint, but I had learned one thing — not 
to argue with God. So I closed my eyes and said, 'Thy will be 
done. ... If it has to come now. Thy will be done.” 

As soon as I gave in to that thought, I seemed to relax all 
over. My terror disappeared, and I asked myself quickly what 
was the worst that could happen now. Well, the worst seemed 
to be a possible return of the spasms, with excruciating pains 
— then all would be over. I would go to meet my Maker and 
soon be at peace. 

I lay on that settee and waited for an hour, but the pains 
didn’t return. Finally, I began to ask myself what I would do 
with my life if I didn't die now. I determined that I would 
exert every effort to regain my health. I would stop abusing 
myself with tension and worry and rebuild my strength. 

That was four years ago. I have rebuilt my strength to such 


a degree that even my doctor is amazed at the improvement my 
cardiograms show. I no longer worry. I have ‘a new zest for 
life. But I can honestly say that if I hadn't faced the worst — 
my imminent death — and then tried to improve upon it, I don't 
believe I would be here today. If I hadn’t accepted the worst, 
I believe I would have died from my own fear and panic. 

Mr. Ryan is alive today because he made use of the principle 
described in the Magic Formula— face the worst that can 
happeh. (See page 19.) 

I Am a Great Dismisser 

by Ordway Tead 

Chairman of the Board of Higher Education 
New York, New York 

Worry is a habit — a habit that I broke long ago. I believe that 
my habit of refraining from worrying is due largely to three 

First: I am too busy to indulge in self-destroying anxiety. I 
have three main activities — each one of which should be 
virtually a full-time job in itself. I lecture to large groups at 
Columbia University: I am also chairman of the Board of 
Higher Education of New York City. I also have charge of the 
Economic and Social Book Department of the publishing firm 
of Harper and Brothers. The insistent demands of these three 
tasks leave me no time to fret and stew and run around in circles. 

Second : I am a great dismisser. When I turn from one task 
to another, I dismiss all thoughts of the problems I had been 
thinking about previously. I find it stimulating and refreshing 
to turn from one activity to another. It rests me. It clears my 

Third: I have had to school myself to dismiss all these prob- 


30 * 

lems from my mind when I close my office desk. They are 
always continuing. Each one always has a set of unsolved 
problems demanding my attention. If I carried these issues 
home with me each night, and worried about them, I would 
destroy my health; and, in addition, I would destroy all ability 
to cope with them. 

Ordway Tead is a master of the Four Good Working Habits. 
Do you remember what they are? (See page 215.) 

If I Had Mot Stopped Worrying , I Would Have 
Been in My Grave Long Ago 

by Connie Mack 

I have been in professional baseball for over sixty-three years. 
When I first started, back in the eighties, I got no salary at all. 
We played on vacant lots, and stumbled over tin cans and dis- 
carded horse collars. When the game was over, we passed the 
hat. The pickings were pretty slim for me, especially since I 
was the main support of my widowed mother and my younger 
brothers and sisters. Sometimes the ball team would have to 
put on a strawberry supper or a clambake to keep going. 

I have had plenty of reason to worry. I am the only baseball 
manager who ever finished in last place for seven consecutive 
years. I am the only manager who ever lost eight hundred 
games in eight years. After a series of defeats, I used to worry 
until I could hardly eat or sleep. But I stopped worrying 
twenty-five years ago, and I honestly believe that if I hadn't 
stopped worrying then, I would have been in my grave long ago. 

As I looked back over my long life (I was bom when Lincoln 
was President), I believe I was able to conquer worry by doing 
these things: 

i, I saw how futile it was. I saw it was getting me nowhere 
and was threatening to wreck my career. 


2. I saw it was going to ruin my health. 

3. I kept myself so busy planning and working to win games 
in the future that I had no time to worry over games that were 
already lost. 

4. I finally made it a rule never to call a player's attention 
to his mistakes until twenty-four hours after the game. In my 
early days, I used to dress and undress with the players. If the 
team had lost, I found it impossible to refrain from criticising 
the players and from arguing with them bitterly over their 
defeats. I found this only increased my worries. Criticising a 
player in front of the others didn't make him want to co-operate. 
It really made him bitter. So, since I couldn't be sure of con- 
trolling myself and my tongue immediately after a defeat, I 
made it a rule never to see the players right after a defeat. I 
wouldn't discuss the defeat with them until the next day. By 
that time, I had cooled off, the mistakes didn't loom so large, 
and I could talk things over calmly and the men wouldn't get 
angry and try to defend themselves. 

5. I tried to inspire players by building them up with praise 
instead of tearing them down with faultfinding. I tried to have 
a good word for everybody. 

6. I found that I worried more when I was tired; so I spend 
ten hours in bed every night, and I take a nap every afternoon. 
Even a five-minute nap helps a lot. 

7. I believe I have avoided worries and lengthened my life 
by continuing to be active. I am eighty-five, but I am not going 
to retire until I begin telling the same stories over and over. 
When I start doing that. I'll know then that I am growing old. 

Connie Mack never read a book on how to stop worrying so 
he made ont his own roles. Why don’t you make a list of the rales 
you have found helpful in the past — and write them out here? 

Ways I Have Found Helpful in Overcoming Worry 







One at a Time Gentlemen, One at a Time 

by John Homer Miller 

Author of Take a Look at Yourself 

I discovered years ago that I could not escape my. worries by 
trying to run away from them, but that I could banish them by 
changing my mental attitude toward them. I discovered that 
my worries were not outside myself but inside myself. 

As the years have gone by, I have found that time automatic- 
ally takes care of most of my worries. In fact, I frequently find 
it difficult to remember what I was worrying about a week ago. 
So I have a rale: never to fret over a problem until it is at 
least a week old. Of course, I can't always put a problem com- 
pletely out of mind for a week at a time, but I can refuse to 
allow it to dominate my mind until the allotted seven days 
have passed, either the problem has solved itself or I have so 
changed my mental attitude that it no longer has the power to 
trouble me greatly. 

I have been greatly helped by reading the philosophy of Sir 
William Osier, a man who was not only a great physician, but a 
great artist in the greatest of all arts : the art of living. One of 
his statements has helped me immensely in banishing worries. 
Sir William said, at a dinner given in his honour: "More than 
to anything else, I owe whatever success I have had to the 
power of settling down to the day's work and trying to do it well 
to the best of my ability and letting the future take care of 

In handling troubles, I Jiave taken as my motto the words of 
an old parrot that my father used to tell me about. Father told 
me of a parrot that was kept in a cage hanging over the door- 
way in a hunting dub in Pennysylvania. As the members of the 
club passed through the door, the parrot repeated over and over 
the only words he knew: "One at a time, gentlemen, one at a 
time." Father taught me to handle my troubles that way: 
"One at a time, gentlemen, one at a time." I have found that 



taking my troubles one at a time lias helped me to maintain calm 
and composure amidst pressing duties and unending engage- 
ments. “One at a time, gentlemens one at a time." 

Here again* we have on© of the basic principles in conquering 
worry: live in bay-tight compartments. Why don’t you turn 
back and read that chapter again? (See page 7 ). 

I Now Look for the Green Light 

by Joseph M. Cotter 

1534 Fargo Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 

From the time I was a small boy, throughout the early stages of 
young manhood, and during my adult life, I was a professional 
worrier. My worries were many and varied. Some were real; 
most of them were imaginary. Upon rare occasions I would find 
myself without anything to worry about — then I would' worry 
for fear I might be overlooking something. 

Then, two years ago, I started out on a new way of living. 
This required making a self-analysis of my faults — and a very 
few virtues — a "searching and fearless moral inventory" of my- 
self. This brought out clearly what was causing all this worry. 

The fact was that I could not live for today alone. I was fret- 
ful of yesterday's mistakes and fearful of the future. 

I was told over and over that "today was the tomorrow I had 
worried about yesterday". But it woijldn't work on me. I was 
advised to live on a twenty-four-hour programme. I was told 
that today was the only day over which I had any control and 
that I should make the most of my opportunities each day. 
I was told that if I did that, I would be so busy I would have 
no time to worry about any other day — post or future. That 
advise was logical, but somehow I found it hard to put these 
darned ideas to work for me. 



Then like a shot from out of the dark, I found the answer — 
and where do you suppose I found it? On a North-western 
Railroad platform at seven p.m. on May 31, 1945. It was an 
important hour for me. That is why I remember it so clearly. 

We were taking some friends to the train. They were leaving 
on The City of Los Angeles, a streamliner, to return from a 
vacation. War was still on — crowds were heavy that year. 
Instead of boarding the train with my wife, I wandered down 
the tracks towards the front of the train. I stood looking at the 
big shiny engine for a minute. Presently I looked down the 
track and saw a huge semaphore. An amber light was showing. 
Immediately this light turned to a bright green. At that 
moment, the engineer started clanging a bell; I heard the 
familiar "All aboard!" and, in a matter of seconds, that huge 
streamliner began to move out of the station on its 2,300-mile 

My mind started spinning. Something was trying to make 
sense to me. I was experiencing a miracle. Suddenly it dawned 
on me. That engineer had given me the answer I had been 
seeking. He was starting out on that long journey with only 
one green light to go by. If I had been in his place, I would 
want to see all the green lights for the entire journey. Impos- 
sible, of course, yet that was exactly what I was trying to do 
with my life — sitting in the station, going noplace, because I was 
trying too hard to see what was ahead for me. 

My thoughts kept coming. That engineer didn't worry about 
trouble that he might encounter miles ahead. There probably 
would be some delays, some slowdowns, but wasn't that why 
they had signal systems? Amber lights — reduce speed and take 
it easy. Red lights — real danger up ahead — stop. That was 
what made train travel safe. A good signal system. 

I asked myself why I didn't have a good signal system for 
my life. My answer was — I did have one. God had given it to 
me. He controls it, so it has to be foolproof. I started looking 
for a green light. Whore could I find it? Well, if God created 
the green lights, why not ask Him? I did just that. 

And now by praying each morning, I get my green light for 
that day. I also occasionally get amber lights that slow me 



down. Sometimes I get red lights that stop me before I crack up. 
No more worrying for me since that day two years ago when I 
made this discovery. During those two years, over seven 
hundred green lights have shown for me, and the trip through 
life is so much easier without the worry of what colour the next 
light will be. No matter what colour it may be, I will know 
what to do. 

How John D. Rockefeller Lived on Borrowed 
Time for Forty-five Tears 

John D. Rockefeller, Sr,, had accumulated his first million 
at the age of thirty-three. At the age of forty-three, he had 
built up the largest monopoly the world has ever seen — the great 
Standard Oil Company. But where was he at fifty-three? 
Worry had got him at fifty-three. Worry and high-tension living 
had already wrecked his health. At fifty-three he “looked like 
a mummy," says John K. Winkler, one of his biographers. 

At fifty-three, Rockefeller was attacked by mystifying diges- 
tive maladies that swept away his hair, even the eyelashes and 
ail but a faint wisp of eyebrow. “So serious was his condition," 
says Winkler, “that at one time John D. was compelled to exist 
on human milk." According to the doctors, he had alopecia, a 
form of baldness that often starts with sheer nerves. He looked 
so startling, with his stark bald dome, that he had to wear a 
skullcap. Later, he had wigs made — $500 apiece — and for the 
rest of his life he wore these silver wigs. 

Rockefeller had originally been blessed with an iron constitu- 
tion. Reared on a farm, he had once had stalwart shoulders, an 
erect carriage, and a strong, brisk gait. 

Yet at only fifty-three — when most men are at their prime — 
his shoulders drooped and he shambled when he walked. “When 
he looked in a glass," says John T. Flynn, another of his bio- 
graphers, “he saw an old man. The ceaseless work, the endless 
worry, the streams of abuse, the sleepless nights, and the lack 
of exercise and rest" had exacted their toll; they had brought 



him to his knees. He was now the richest man in the world; 
yet he had to live on a diet that a pauper would have scorned. 
His income at the time was a million dollars a week — but two 
dollars a week would probably have paid for all the food he 
could eat. Acidulated milk and a few biscuits were all the 
doctors would allow him. His skin had lost its colour — it looked 
like old parchment drawn tight across his bones. And nothing 
but medical care, the best money could buy, kept him from 
dying at the age of fifty-three. 

How did it happen? Worry. Shock. High-pressure and high- 
tension living. He "drove" himself literally to the edge of the 
grave. Even at the age of twenty-three. Rockefeller was already 
pursuing his goal with such grim determination that, accord- 
ing to those who knew him, "nothing lightened his countenance 
save news of a good bargain." When he made a big profit, 
he would do a little war dance — throw his hat on the floor and 
break into a jig. But if he lost money, he was ill I He once 
shipped $40,000 worth of grain by way of the Great Lakes. No 
insurance. It cost too much : $150. That night a vicious storm 
raged over Lake Erie. Rockefeller was so worried about losing 
his cargo that when his partner, George Gardner, reached the 
office in the morning, he found John D. Rockefeller there, 
pacing the floor. 

"Hurry," he quavered. "Let's see if we can take out insur- 
ance now, if it isn't too late!" Gardner rushed uptown and got 
the insurance; but when he returned to the office, he found 
John D. in an even worse state of nerves. A telegram had 
arrived in the meantime : the cargo had landed, safe from the 
storm. He was sicker than ever now because they had "wasted" 
the $150 ! In fact, he was so sick about it that he had to go 
home and take to his bed. * Think of it ! At that time, his firm 
was doing gross business of $500,000 a year — yet he made him- 
self so ill over $150 that he had to go to bed ! 

He had no time for play, no time for recreation, no time for 
anything except making money and teaching Sunday school. 
When his partner, George Gardner, purchased a second-hand 
yacht, with three other men, for $2,000, John D. was aghast, 
refused to go out in it. Gardner found him working at the 


office one Saturday afternoon, and pleaded, "Come on, John, 
let's go for a sail It will do yon good. Forget about business. 
Have a little fun." Rockefeller glared. "George Gardner/' he 
warned, "you are the most extravagant man I ever knew. You 
are injuring your credit at the banks — and my credit too. First 
thing you know, you'll be wrecking our business. No, I won't 
go on your yacht — I don't ever want to see it I" And he stayed 
plugging in the office all Saturday afternoon. 

The same lack of humour, the same lack of perspective, 
characterised John D. all through his business career. Years 
later he said, "I never placed my head upon the pillow at night 
without reminding myself that my success might be only 

With millions at his command, he never put bis head upon 
his pillow without worrying about losing his fortune. No wonder 
worry wrecked his health. He had no time for play or recreation, 
never went to the theatre, never played cards, never went to a 
party. As Mark Hanna said, the man was mad about money. 
"Sane in every other respect, but mad about money." 

Rockefeller had once confessed to a neighbour in Cleveland, 
Ohio, that he "wanted to be loved"; yet he was so cold and 
suspicious that few people even liked him. Morgan once balked 
at having to do business with him at all. "I don't like the man," 
he snorted. "I don't want to have any dealings with him." 
Rockefeller's own brother hated him so much that he removed 
his children's bodies from the family plot. "No one of my 
blood," he said, "will ever rest in land controlled by John D." 
Rockefeller's employees and associates lived in holy fear of him, 
and here is the ironic part : he was afraid of them — afraid they 
would talk outside the office and "give secrets away". He had 
so little faith in human nature that once, when he signed a ten- 
year contract with an independent refiner, he made the man 
promise not to tell anyone, not even his wife I 4 'Shut your mouth 
and run your business" — that was his motto. 

Then at the very peak of his prosperity, with gold flowing 
into his coffers like hot yellow lava pouring down the sides of 
Vesuvius, Ms private world collapsed. Books and articles de- 
nounced the robber-baron war of the Standard Oil Company 1 — 



secret rebates with railroads, the ruthless crushing of all rivals. 

In the oil fields of Pennsylvania, John D. Rockefeller was the 
most hated man on earth. He was hanged in effigy by the men 
he had crushed. Many of them longed to tie a rope around 
his withered neck and hang him to the limb of a sour-apple 
tree. Letters breathing fire and brimstone poured into his office 
— letters threatening his life. He hired bodyguards to keep his 
enemies from killing him. He attempted to ignore this cyclone 
of hate. He had once said cynically, “You may kick me and 
abuse me provided you will let me have my own way.' ' But he 
discovered that he was human after all. He couldn't take hate 
— and worry too. His health began to crack. He was puzzled 
and bewildered by this new enemy — illness — which attacked him 
from within. At first “he remained secretive about his occa- 
sional indispositions/' tried to put his illness out of his mind. 
But insomnia, indigestion, and the loss of his hair — all physical 
symptoms of worry and collapse — were not to be denied. 
Finally, his doctors told him the shocking truth. He could take 
his choice his money and his worries — or his life. They warned 
him he must either retire or die. He retired. But before he 
retired, worry, greed, fear had already wrecked his health. 
When Ida Tarbell, America's most celebrated female writer of 
biographies, saw him, she was shocked. She wrote: “An awful 
age was in his face. He was the oldest man I have ever seen." 
Old? Why, Rockefeller was then several years younger than 
General MacArthur was when he recaptured the Philippines! 
But he was such a physical wreck that Ida Tarbell pitied him. 
She working at that time on her powerful book which condemned 
the Standard Oil and all that it stood for; she certainly had no 
cause to love the man who had built up this “octopus". Yet, 
she said that when she saw John D. Rockefeller teaching a 
Sunday-school class, eagerly watching the faces of all those 
around him — “I had a feeling which I had not expected, and 
which time intensified. I mas sorry for Mm . I know no com- 
panion so terrible as fear." 

When the doctors undertook to save Rockefeller's life, they 
gave him three rules — three rules which he observed, to the 
letter, for the rest of his life. Here they are : 


1. Avoid worry , Never worry about anything , awy 

fond 0/ circumstances. 

2. Relax, and take plenty of mild exercise in the open air . 

3. Watch your diet . Always stop eating while you're still a 
tittle hungry . 

John D. Rockefeller obeyed those rules; and they probably 
saved his life. He retired. He learned to play golf. He went in 
for gardening. He chatted with his neighbours. He played 
games. He sang songs. 

But he did something else too. “During days of torture and 
nights of insomnia/ 1 says Winkler, “John D. had time for re- 
flection/' He began to think of other people. He stopped think- 
ing, for once, of how much money he could get; and he began 
to wonder how much that money could buy in terms of human 

In short, Rockefeller now began to give his millions away! 
Some of the time it wasn't easy. When he offered money to a 
church, pulpits all over the country thundered back with cries 
of “tainted money !" But he kept on giving. He learned of a 
starving little college on the shores of Lake Michigan that was 
being foreclosed because of its mortgage. He came to its rescue 
and poured millions of dollars into that college and built it into 
the now world-famous University of Chicago. He tried to help 
the negroes. He gave money to negro universities like Tuskegee 
College, where funds were needed to carry on the work of 
George Washington Carver. He helped to fight hookworm. 
When Dr. Charles W. Stiles, the hookworm authority, said, 
“Fifty cents' worth of medicine will cure a man of this disease 
which ravages the South — but who will give the fifty cents?" 
Rockefeller gave it. He spent millions on hookworm, stamping 
ont the greatest scourge that has ever handicapped the South. 
And then he went further. He established a great international 
foundation — the Rockefeller Foundation — which was to fight 
disease and ignorance all over the world. 

I speak with feeling of this work, for there is a possibility that 
I may owe my life to the Rockefeller Foundation. How well I 
remember that when I was in China in 1932, cholera was raging 
all over the nation. The Chinese peasants were dying like flies; 



yet in the midst of all this horror, we were able to go to the 
Rockefeller Medical College in Peking and get a vaccination to 
protect us from the plague. Chinese and "foreigners” alike, we 
were able to do that. And that was when I got my first under- 
standing of what Rockefeller's millions were doing for the world. 

Never before in history has there ever been anything even 
remotely like the Rockefeller Foundation. It is something 
unique. Rockefeller knew that all over the world there are 
many fine movements that men of vision start. Research is 
undertaken; colleges are founded; doctors struggle on to fight 
a disease — but only too often this high-minded work has to die 
for lack of funds. He decided to help these pioneers of 
humanity — not to "take them over”, but to give them some 
money and help them help themselves. Today you and I can 
thank John D. Rockefeller for the miracles of penicillin, and for 
dozens of other discoveries which his money helped to 
finance. You can thank him for the fact that your children no 
longer die from spinal meningitis, a disease that used to kill four 
out of five. And you can thank him for part of the inroads we 
have made on malaria and tuberculosis, on influenza and 
diphtheria, and many other diseases that still plague the world. 

And what about Rockefeller? When he gave his money 
away, did he gain peace of mind? Yes, he was contented at last. 
"If the public thought of him after 1900 as brooding over the 
attacks on the Standard Oil,” said Allan Kevins, "the public 
was much mistaken.” 

Rockefeller was happy. He had changed so completely that 
he didn't worry at all. In fact, he refused even to lose one 
night's sleep when he was forced to accept the greatest defeat 
of his career! 

That defeat came when, the corporation he had built, the 
huge Standard Oil, was ordered to pay "the heaviest fine in 
history”. According to the United States Government, the 
Standard Oil was a monopoly, in direct violation of the anti- 
trust laws. The battle raged for five years. The best legal 
brains in the land fought on interminably in what was, up to 
then, the longest court war in history. But Standard Oil lost. 

When Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis handed down his 



decision, lawyers for the defence feared that old John D. would 
take it very hard. But they didn't know how much he'd 

That night one of the lawyers got John D. on the phone. 
He discussed the decision as gently as he could, and then said 
with concern, “I hope you won't let this decision upset you, 
Mr. Rockefeller. I hope you'll get your night's sleep 1 " 

And old John D.? Why, he crackled right back across the 
wire, "Don't worry, Mr. Johnson, I intend to get a night's 
sleep. And don't let it bother you either. Good night!" 

That from the man who had once taken to his bed because 
he had lost $150! Yes, it took a long time for John D. to 
conquer worry. He was "dying" at fifty-three — but he lived to 
ninety-eight ! , 

Reading a Book on Sex Prevented My Marriage 
from Going on the Rocks 

BY B. R. W. 

I hate to make this story anonymous. But it is so intimate that 
I could not possibly use my name. However, Dale Carnegie 
will vouch for the truth of this story. I first told it to him twelve 
years ago. 

After leaving college, I got a job with a large industrial 
organisation, and five years later, this company sent me across 
the Pacific to act as one of its representatives in the Far East. 
A week before leaving America, I married the sweetest and most 
lovable woman I have ever known. But our honeymoon was a 
tragic disappointment for both of us — especially for her. By 
the time we reached Hawaii she was so disappointed, so heart- 
broken, that she would have returned to the States, had she not 
been ashamed to face her old friends and admit failure in what 
can be — and should be — life's most thrilling adventure. 

We lived together two miserable years in the Orient. I was 



so unh appy that I had sometimes thought of suicide. Then one 
day I chanced upon a book that changed everything. I have 
always been a lover of books, and one night while visiting some 
American friends in the Far East, I was glancing over their 
well-stocked library when I suddenly saw a book entitled Ideal 
Mamage , by Dr. Van de Velde. The title sounded like a 
preachy, goody-goody document. But, out of idle curiosity, I 
opened it. I saw that it dealt almost entirely with the sexual 
side of mamage — and dealt with it frankly and without any 
touch of vulgarity. 

If anyone had told me that I ought to read a book on sex, I 
would have been insulted. Read one? I felt I could write one. 
But my own marriage was such a bust that I condescended to 
look this book over, anyway. So I got up the courage to ask 
my host if I could borrow it. I can truthfully say that reading 
that book turned out to be one of the important events of my 
life. My wife also read it. That book turned a tragic marriage 
into a happy, blissful companionship. If I had a million dollars, 
I would buy the rights to publish that book and give free copies 
of it to the countless thousands of bridal couples. 

I once read that Dr. John B. Watson, the distinguished 
psychologist, said, “Sex is admittedly the most important 
subject in life. It is admittedly the thing which causes the most 
shipwrecks in the happiness of men and women." 

If Dr. Watson is correct — and I am persuaded that his state- 
ment, sweeping as it is, is almost, if not wholly, true — then why 
does civilisation permit millions of sexual ignoramuses to marry 
each year and wreck all chances for married happiness? 

If we want to know what is wrong with marriage, we ought 
to read a book entitled What is Wrong With Marriage? by 
Dr. G. V. Hamilton and Kenneth MacGowan, Dr. Hamilton 
spent four years investigating what is wrong with mamage 
before writing that book, and he says, “It would take a very 
reckless psychiatrist to say that most married friction doesn't 
find its sources in sexual maladjustment. At any rate, the fric- 
tions which arise from other difficulties would be ignored in 
many, many cases if the sexual relation itself were satisfactory." 

I know that statement is true. I know from tragic experience. 


The book that saved my marriage from shipwreck. Dr. Van de 
Velde's Ideod Marriage, can be found in most large public 
libraries, or bought at any bookshop. If you want to give a 
little gift to some bride and groom, don't give them a carving 
set. Give them a copy of Ideal Marriage . That book will do 
more to increase their happiness than all the carving sets in the 

[Note by Dale Carnegie: If you find Ideal Marriage too 
expensive, here is another book I can recommend : 

A Marriage Manual , by Drs. Hannah and Abraham Stone.] 

I Was Committing Slow Suicide Because I Didn't 
Know How to Relax 

by Paul Sampson 

Direct-Mail Advertising, 12815 Sycamore, Wyandotte, 

Up to six months ago, I was rushing through life in high gear. 
I was always tense, never relaxed. I arrived home from work 
every night worried and exhausted from nervous fatigue. Why? 
Because no one ever said to me, “Paul, you are killing your- 
self. Why don't you slow down? Why don't you relax?" 

I would get up fast in the morning, eat fast, shave fast, dress 
fast, and drive to work as if I were afraid the steering wheel 
would fly out the window if I didn't have a death grip on it. 
I worked fast, hurried home, and at night I even tried to sleep 

I was in such a state that I went to see a famous nerve 
specialist in Detroit. He told me to relax. (By the way, he gave 
me the same principles for relaxation that are advocated in 
Chapter 24 of this book.) He told me to think of relaxing all the 



time — to think about it when I was working, driving, eating, 
and trying to go to sleep. He told me that I was committing 
slow smcide because I didn't know how to relax. 

Ever since then I have practised relaxation. When I go to 
bed at night, I don't try to go to sleep until I've consciously 
relaxed my body and my breathing. And now I wake up in 
the morning rested — a big improvement, because I used to wake 
up in the morning tired and tense. I relax now when I eat 
and when I drive. To be sure, I am alert when driving, but I 
drive with my mind now instead of my nerves. The most 
important place I relax is at my work. Several times a day 
I stop everything and take inventory of myself to see if 1 am 
entirely relaxed. When the phone rings now, no longer do I 
grab it as though someone were trying to beat me to it; and 
when someone is talking to me, I'm as relaxed as a sleeping 

The result? Life is much more pleasant and enjoyable; and 
I'm completely free of nervous fatigue and nervous worry. 

A Real Miracle Happened to Me 

by Mrs. John Burger 

3,940 Colorado Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

Worry had completely defeated me. My mind was so con- 
fused and troubled that I could see no joy in living. My nerves 
were so strained that I could neither sleep at night nor relax 
by day. My three young children were widely separated, living 
with relatives. My husband, having recently returned from the 
armed service, was in another city trying to establish a law 
practice. I felt all the insecurities and uncertainties of the post- 
war readjustment period. 

I was threatening my husband's career, my children's natural 
endowment of a happy, normal home life, and I was also 


threatening my own life. My husband could find no housing, 
and the only solution was to build. Everything depended on 
my getting well. The more I realised this and the harder I 
would try, the greater would be my fear of failure. Then I 
developed a fear of planning for any responsibility. I felt that 
I could no longer trust myself. I felt I was a complete failure. 

When all was darkest and there seemed to be no help, my 
mother did something for me that I shall never forget or cease 
being grateful for. She shocked me into fighting back. She 
upbraided me for giving in and for losing control of my nerves 
and my mind. She challenged me to get up out of bed and fight 
for all I had. She said I was giving in to the situation, fearing 
it instead of facing it, running away from life instead of living it. 

So I did start fighting from that day on. That very week- 
end I told my parents they could go home, because I was going 
to take over; and I did what seemed impossible at the time. 
I was left alone to care for my two younger children. I slept 
well, I began to eat better, and my spirits began to improve. 
A week later when they returned to visit me again, they found 
me singing at my ironing. I had a sense of well-being because 
I had begun to fight a battle and I was winning. I shall never 
forget this lesson. ... If a situation seems insurmountable, 
face it ! Start fighting 1 Don't give in ! 

From that time on I forced myself to work, and lost myself 
in my work. Finally I gathered my children together and joined 
my husband in our new home. I resolved that I would become 
well enough to give my lovely family a strong, happy mother. 
I became engrossed with plans for our home, plans for my 
children, plans for my husband, plans for everything — except 
for me. I became too busy to think of myself. And it was 
then that the real miracle happened v 

I grew stronger and stronger and could wake up with the 
joy of well-being, the joy of planning for the new day ahead, 
the joy of living. And although days of depression did creep 
in occasionally after that, especially when I was tired, I would 
tell myself not to think or try to reason with myself on those 
days — and gradually they became fewer and fewer and finally 



Now, a year later, I have a very happy, successful husband, 
a beautiful home that I can work in sixteen hours a day, and 
three healthy, happy children — and for myself, peace of mind ! 

by Ferenc Molnar 
Noted Hungarian Playwright 
“Work is the best narcotic!" 

Exactly fifty years ago my father gave me the words I have 
lived by ever since. He was a physician. I had just started to 
study law at the Budapest University. I failed one examina- 
tion. I thought I could not survive the shame so I sought 
escape in the consolation of failure's closest friend, alcohol, 
always at hand: apricot brandy to be exact. 

My father called on me unexpectedly. Like a good doctor, he 
discovered both the trouble and the bottle, in a second. I con- 
fessed why I had to escape reality. 

The dear old man then and there improvised a prescription. 
He explained to me that there can be no real escape in alcohol 
or sleeping pills — or in any drug. For any sorrow there is only 
one medicine, better and more reliable than all the drugs in 
the world: work! 

How right my father was! Getting used to work might be 
hard. Sooner or later you succeed. It has, of course, the quality 
of all the narcotics. It becomes habit-forming. And once the 
habit is formed, sooner or later, it becomes impossible to break 
one's self of it. I have never been able to break myself of the 
habit for fifty years. 

* Reprinted with permission of the author, from Words to Live By — A 
Little Treasury of Inspiration and Wisdom, published by Simon and 
Schuster, Inc., copyright, 1947, by William Nichols. 


I Was So Worried I Didn’t Eat a Site of Solid 
Food for Eighteen Days 

by Kathryne Holcombe Farmer 

Sheriff's Office, Mobile, Alabama 

Three months ago, I was so worried that I didn’t sleep for 
four days and nights; and I did not eat a bite of solid food for 
eighteen days. Even the smell of food made me violently sick. 
I cannot find words to describe the mental anguish I endured. 
I wonder whether hell has any worse tortures than what I went 
through. I felt as if I would go insane or die. I knew that 1 
couldn't possibly continue living as I was. 

The turning point of my life was the day I was given an 
advance copy of this book. During the last three months, I have 
practically lived with this book, studying every page, 
desperately trying to find a new way of life. The change that 
has occurred in my mental outlook and emotional stability is 
almost unbelievable. I am now able to endure the battles of 
each passing day. I now realise that in the past, I was being 
driven half mad not by today's problems but by the bitterness 
and anxiety over something that had happened yesterday or 
that I feared might happen tomorrow. 

But now, when I find myself starting to worry about any- 
thing, I immediately stop and start to apply some of the 
principles I learned from studying this book. If I am tempted 
to tense up over something that must be done today, I get busy 
and do it immediately and get it off my mind. 

When I am faced with the kind of problems that used to drive 
me half crazy, I now calmly set about trying to apply the three 
steps outlined in Chapter 2 , Part One. First, I ask myself what 
is the worst that can possibly happen. Second, I try to accept 
it mentally. Third, I concentrate on the problem and see how 
I can improve the worst which I am already willing to accept — 
if I have to. 

When I find myself worrying about a thing I cannot change — 



and do not want to accept — I stop myself short and repeat 
this little prayer : 

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things 
I cannot change, the courage to change the 
things I can, and wisdom to know the 

Since reading this book, I am really experiencing a new and 
glorious way of life. I am no longer destroying my health and 
happiness by anxiety. I can sleep nine hours a night now. I 
enjoy my food. A veil has been lifted from me. A door has been 
opened. I can now see and enjoy the beauty of the world which 
surrounds me. I thank God for life now and for the privilege 
of living in such a wonderful world. 

May I suggest that you also read this book over: keep it by 
your bed: underscore the parts that apply to your problems. 
Study it; use it. For this is not a “reading book” in the ordinary 
sense; it is written as a “guidebook” — to a new way of life! 

The following books by Dale Carnegie are available at all Booksellers: 

PEOPLE 9/6 net 

of which over 4,000,000 copies have been sold. 

IN BUSINESS 12/6 net 

which is now bemg^ used by salesmen and executives with 

spectacular success. 


m which the author shows himself a master of the art of 

crisp, dramatic biography. 

PEOPLE ' 9/6 net 

Forty-eight amusing anecdotes with illustrations and 



A collection of short, fascinating little life stories. 


More of the life sketches Carnegie has made famous 


Abbott, Harold, 129 

Adler, Alfred, 143, 154, 156 

Alexander, Viola, 126 

Ali Baba, 131 

Allen, James Lane, 109 

Allenby, Viscount, 100 

Allred, Mrs. Edith, 136 

Alone , 59, 1 81 

Alvarez, Dr. W. C., 26 

Anna Karenina, go 

Anthony, John R., 176, 178 

Archives of Psychology, 220 

Aristotle, 37, 125, 160, 163 « 

Arnold, Glenn A., 182 

Art of Forgetting the Unpleasant , 58 

As a Man Thmketh , 109 

Astor, John Jacob, 285 

Aurelius, Marcus, 99, 227 

Autry, Gene, 141, 201, °8o 

B. R W., 312 
Babson, Roger W., 259 
Bacon, Francis, 170 
Baillie, John, 171 
Baird, Professor Duke, 275 
Balestier, Beatty, 66 
Balestier, Caroline, 66 
Barmack, Joseph E., 220 
Baruch, Bernard, 117 
Baum, Vicki, 206 
Beaird, Mrs. L. G., 178 
Beethoven, 148 
Bengermino, Ted, 10 
Bennett, Arnold, 245 
Berlin, Irvmg, 140, 141 
Bernhardt, Sarah, 81, 82 
Bettger, Franklin, 46, 47, 218, 240 
Bible , 9, 102, 114, 120, 152, 168, 
177, 180 

Birdsall, Jim, 274, 276 
Blackwood, C. I., 256 
Blake, Lucile, 132, 133 
Blizzard , The, 88 
Bodley, R. V. C., 264 
Bogart, Humphrey, 291 
Bofitho, William, 135, 130 
Bonnell, Lona B., 21 1 
Booth, General William, 186 

Boynton, Paul W., 138, 236 
Bradley, General Omar, 4 
Brandwine, Mr., 94 
Brewsters' guides, 72 
Bright Ramparts, 144 
Brih, Dr. A. A., 170, 204 
Brown, John, 105 
Brush, Matthew C., 191 
Bryan, William Jennings, 263 
Buddha, 163, 175 
Bull, Ole, 149 
Burger, Mrs. John, 3x5 
Burton, C. R., 15 x, 153 
Butler, Major-General Smedley, 

Byrd, Admiral Richard E., 58, 59, 
64, 181, 182 

Cabot, Dr. Richard C., 59 
Cagney, James, 291, 292 
Cannon, Dr. Walter, 200 
Carlyle, Life of, 269 
Carlyle, Thomas, 7, 80, 236 
Carnegie, Andrew, 123 
Carnegie, Dale, 87, 90, 103, 140, 
162, 175, 193, 244, 312 
Carnegie, Mrs. Dale, 64, 65 
Carrel, Dr. Alexis, 25, 32, 33, 35, 
44, 180 

Carrier, Willis H., 18, 20, 21, 22, 
24 > 36 , 37 

Carver, George Washington, 93, 

Casselius, William H., 83 
Castles, Burton S., 86 
Catherine the Great, 64 
Cavell, Edith, 117 
Cecil, Dr. Russell L., 30 
Chaplin, Charlie, 141 
Chase, 120 
Chertock, J., 201 
Chiang Kai-shek, 180 
Christ of the Indian Road, 284 
Churchill, Winston, 4, 54, 200 
Clark, General Mark, 4, x8o 
Columbus, Christopher, 67 
Confucius, 4, 1 16, 122, 163 
Connley, Elizabeth, 77, 78 


Conquest of Mexico \ 259 
Coolidge, Calvin, 117, 229 
Cotter, Joseph M., 304 
Crook, General George, 72 
Crook's Autobiography, 72 
Cross, Wilbur, 269 
Croy, Homer, 65, 285 
Culbertson, 296 
Cushman, Mary, 172 

Dahl, Borghild, 133 
Daley, Cass, 138 
Dante, 56 
Dante's Inferno, 33 
D arrow, Clarence, 120 
Darwin, Charles, 60, 148, 195 
Davidson, Professor Thomas, 171 
Davis, Bette, 291, 292 
De Havilland, Olivia, 291 
Dempsey, Jack, 4, 27, 96, 97, 179, 

Disraeli, Benjamin, 66 
Dix, Dorothy, 4, 270, 271 
Doolittle, James, 293 
Dostoevsky, 148 
Dougherty, Henry L., 217 
Douglas, Marion J., 53 
Dreiser, Theodore, 163, 164, 232 
Drew, John, 140 
Dwight, Timothy, 186 

Eagan, Colonel Eddie, 273 
Eberly, Marion S., 249 
Eddy, Mary Baker, 102, 103 
Edison, Thomas, 38, 39, 202 
Edward VIII, King, 185 
Eggleston, Dr. Elmer, 272 
Einstein, Albert, 139, 196, 249 
Eisenhower, General Dwight, 116, 
I2i, 165, 180, 293 
Eisenhower, John, 116 
Ellis, Bill, 102 

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 59, .99, 
106, 142, 171 

Encyclopedia Britannica, 90 
Englert, H. J., 108 
Epictetus, 81, 107, 119 
Evans, Edward S., 14, 15 
Eversole, Dan, 89 
Eriksen, Ted, 277, 278 
Excitement of Teaching , 268 % 

Falkaber, William, 114 

Farmer, Kathryne Holcombe, 318 
Fink, Dr. David Harold, 207, 208 

Firpo, 288 
Flynn, Errol, 291 
Flynn, John T., 306 
For Whom the Bell Tolls , 137 
Ford, Henry, 4, 81, 170, 201 
Fortson, Ben, 145 
Fosdick, Dr. Harry Emerson, 67, 
144, 145, 147, 149, 235 
Francis, St., 163, 184 
Franklin, Benjamin, 51, 55, 90, 91 
160, 194, 197 
Freud, Dr. Sigmund, 21 1 
Fuller, Margaret, 79 

Galli-Curci, 207 
Gallup, George, 243 
Gandhi, Mahatma, 175 
Gardner, George, 307, 308 
Gaynor, William J., 116 
George V, King, 78 
Gershwin, George, 140, 141 
Gilbert, W. S., 89, 90 
Gilkey, Dr. James Gordon, 137 
Glover, Mrs. 101, 102 
Gober, Dr. O. F., 25, 26 
Golden, Vallie G,, 223, 224 
Goldwyn, Sam, 203 
Goodbye, Mr Chips , 137 
Goodrich, David M., 235 
Gospel of Relaxation, 205 
Grant, James A., 72, 73 
Grant, General Ulysses S., 29, 187 
Greeley, Horace, 263 
Gulliver’s Travels , 131 

Habein, Dr. Harold C., 26 
Ha&field, J. A., 101, 204 
Hale, Alan, 291 
Hall am, Arthur, 56 
Halter, Kathleen, 289 
Hamilton, Dr. G. V., 313 
Hampden, Walter, 140 
Haney, Earl P., 22, 23, 24 
Hanna, Mark, 308 
Harding, Warren G., 117 
Hardy, Thomas, 88 
Hawkes, Herbert E., 37, 38, 39, 
48, 80 

Heraclitus, 15 



Herndon, 119, 120 
Hilferding, Dr. Rose, 210 
Hitler, 33 
Hodges, Gil, 189 
Hogan, Frank S., 64 
Hoover, Herbert, 117 
Hope, Bob, 141, 196 
Horace, 14 
Housman, A. E., 163 
Howard, Harlan A., 224, 225 
How to Figure the Odds, 254 
How to Win Friends and Influence 
People, 3 

How to Worry Successfully , 4 
Howell, H. P., 51, 193, 194, 197, 

Hubbard, Elbert, 194 
Hughes, Charles Evans, 217 
Hughes, Del, 295 
Hutchins, Robert Maynard, 143, 


Hyslop, Dr. Thomas, 231 

I Married Adventure, 58 
I Wanted to See, 133 
Ideal Marriage, 313, 314 
Importance of Living , 20 

Jackson, Stonewall, 180 
Jacoby, Oswald, 254 
Jacobson, Dr. Edmund, 199, 206 
James, William, 20, 32, 43, 77, 
107, no, 138, 148, 168, 170, 1 7 1, 
175, x8o, 183, 205, 224 
Jarvey, Olga K., 34 
Jefferson, Thomas, 186 
Jepson, Helen, 207 
Jesus Christ, 9, 12, 14, 15, 53, 78, 
84, 102, 103, 114, 1 15, 120, 123, 
144, 163, 165, 171, 177* 284 
Johnson, Lester, 288 
Johnson, Martin, 58 
Johnson, Osa, 58 
Johnson, Professor Paul E., 213 
Johnson, Philip, 238 
Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 123, 132 
Jones, E Stanley, 283 
Jones, Laurence, 118, 119 
Josselyn, Daniel W., 200, 203 
Jung, Dr. Carl, 159, 174 
Just for Today , no 

Kalidasa, 16 

Kaltenbom, H. V,, 151, 225, 226, 

Kant, Immanuel, 183 
Keller, Helen, 106, 148 
Keller, K. T., 81 
Kennedy, Dr. Foster. 232 
Kern, Jerome, 222 
Kern, Paul, 229 
Kerr, Mrs. Edna, 236 
Kettering, Charles, 39, 54, 169 
King, Admiral Ernest J., 9, 293 
James, King, 9 
King Lear, 125 
Kingman, S. H., 221 
Kiphng, Rudyard, 37, 66, 67 
Kitson, Professor Harry Dexter, 

Kleitman, Dr. Nathaniel, 230 
Koran, 35, 265 

Landis, Judge Kenesaw Moun- 
tain, 311 

La Rochefoucauld, 196 
Lawes, Lewis E., 97 
Lawrence, T. E., 100, 265, 266 
Leacock, Stephen, 14 
Lee, General Robert E., 29, 180 
Leibowitz, Samuel, 123 
Lilga, Dr., 294 

Lincoln, Abraham, 89, in, 119, 
120, 149, 190, 195, 254, 292, 301 
Link, Dr. Henry C., 160, 171, 233 
Litchfield, Galen, 39, 40, 42, 43 
Little, E. H., 197 
Lives of the Twelve Caesars , 259 
Lloyd-George, David, 265 
Loftin, Mr. and Mrs., 152 
London, Jack, 88 
Long, Jimmy, 282 
Longfellow, Henry W., 56 
Longman, Tremper, 60 
Loope, Dr. Frank, 153 
Luckman, Charles, 196, 217 
Luke, St., 123 
Lurton, Douglas, 248, 249 

Maas, Clyde W., 74 
MacArthur, General Douglas, 293, 

MacCormick, Elsie, 82 
MacDonald, Jeanette, 231, 233 
MacGowan, Kenneth, 313 



Mack, Connie, 96, 179, 200, 301,302 
Mahlstedt, Frederick J., 73 
Malloch, Douglas, 142 
Man Against Himself \ 28 
Man, the Unknown, 180 
Mann, Horace, 201 
Marriage Manual, 314 
Marshall, General, 202, 293 
Martmdale, Major, 113 
Matthew, St., 102 
Maurois, Andr6, 38, 66 
Mayo Brothers, 27, 34 
Me Bey, James, 100 
McBride, Mary Margaret, 141 
McCaffery, Dr., 35 
McClellan, General George, 120 
McClelland, Dr Stewart W., 15 1 
McGomgle, Dr. William I. L., 30 
McKinley, William, 187 
Meditations, Marcus Aurelius, 227 
Memoirs, Grant's, 29 
Menninger, Dr Karl, 28 
Menninger, Dr. William, 238 
Messenger, 264 
Mikado, 89 
Mill, John Stuart, 238 
Miller, John Homer, 303 
Milton, John, 79, 106, 148 
Modern Man in Search of a Soul, 

Mohammed, 35, 156, 264, 265 
Molnar, Ferenc, 317 
Montant, Louis T., Jr., 29, 297 
Montague, Dr. Joseph F., 26 
Montaigne, 30, 107 
Montgomery, General, 180 
Moon, Mrs William T., 156 
Moore, Robert, 62 
Morgan, J. Pierpont, 180, 250 
Morgenthau, Henry, Jr., 29 
Mursell, James L., 57 

Napoleon, 97, 106, 193 
Nelson, Lord, 180 
Nervous Stomach Trouble, 26 
Nevins, Allan, 31 1 
New Testament, 276 
Nichols, William, 317 
Niebuhr, Dr. Reinhold, 85 
Nietzsche, 148 
Nightingale Florence, 160 
Norris, Frank, 88 

Oberon, Merle, 31 
Of Men and Music, 191 
Omar, Khayyam, 23 
Origin of Species, 195 
Osier, Sir William, 7, 8, 12, 16, 17 
36, 209, 303 

Palmer, John, 14 1 

Partridge, Sibyl F* no 

Pasteur, Louis, 55 

Patience, 89 

Patri, Angelo, 137 

Peale, Norman Vincent, 99 

Pearl, Dr. Raymond, 236 

Peary, Admiral, 187 

Penney, J. C., 81, 271, 272, 273 

Pepys, Samuel, 63 

Pericles, 67 

Phelps, Professor William Lyon, 
160, 161, 162, 267, 269 
Phillips, H. I., 86 
Phillips, Waite, 43 
Pinafore, 89 
Plato, 27, 84, 163 
Podolsky, Dr. Edward, 28 
Porter, Sylvia S., 250 
Power to See It Through, 149, 233 
Powys, John Cowper, 58 
Pozzi, Professor, 81 
Pratt, Dr. Joseph H., 209 
Prescott, 239 
Price, Henry, 171 
Principles of Scientific Manage- 
ment, 203 

Progressive Relaxation, ^9 
Psychology of Power, 101, 204 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 140 
Rediscovery of Man, 233 
Release from Nervous Tension , 207, 
231. 23 3 

Return to Religion, 171 
Rickenbacker, Eddie, 15 1, 189 
Roach, Leon, 12 
Roberts, Charles, 86 
Robinson, Edward G., 291, 292 
Robinson, Dr. G. Canby, 107 
Rockefeller, John D., 200, 243, 
306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312 
Rogers, Will, 141, 281, 285 
Rona, George, 115, 116 
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 4, 64, 190, 201 



Roosevelt, Franklin D., 29, 117 
Roosevelt, Theodore, 190, 195 
Rosenwald, Julius, 143 
Rudyard Kipling's Vermont Feud, 

Ruskin, John, 16 
Ryan, Joseph L., 299, 300 

Sabath, Judge Joseph, 64 
Sadler, Dr. William L., 216 
Salinger, Herbert H., 70 
Salinger, Mrs. Herbert H., 70 
Sampson, Paul, 314 
Sandner, Ira, 229, 230 
Santayana, 169 
Sattherly, Arthur, 263 
Saul, King, 193 
Saunders, Allen, 94, 95 
Sayce, Professor, 230 
Scheinfeld, Amran, 139 
Schildkraut, Nat, 281 
Schopenhauer, 78, 116, 117, 131, 

Schwab, Charles, 123, 236 
Scott, Robert Falcon, ro6 
Seabury, David, 4 
Seifred, Charles, 68 
Self-Reliance , 142 
Seneca, 255 
Seward, 120 
Shakespeare, 115, 125 
Shaw, George Bernard, 50, 61, 153, 
218, 297 

Shedd, Fred Fuller, 95, 96 

Sheridan, Ann, 291 

Shields, Mrs. E. K., 12 

Shimkin, Leon, 44, 45, 244 

Shipp, Cameron, 290, 292 

Show Boat, 222 

Simpson, James, 70 

Six Ways to Get a Job, 138, 237 

Sizoo, Dr. Joseph R., 276 

Skinner, Otis, 140 

Smith, Al, 73, 148 

Smith, Alexis, 291 

Smith, Logan Pearsall, 133 

Snyder, Mrs. Ora, 252 

Socrates, 84, 163 

Speer, Mrs. Nellie, 251, 252, 253 

Spencer, Herbert, 230 

Stanton, Edward M., 120, 195 

Stapleton, Mrs. Elsie, 243, 244, 246 

Stettinius, Edward R., 180 
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 12 
Stiles, Dr. Charles W., 310 
Stokes, Dr. John H., 215 
Stone, Dr. Abraham, 314 
Stone, Dr. Hannah, 314 
Stop Worrying and Get Well, 28 
Studies in Pessimism , 116 
Suetonius, 259 
Sullivan, Arthur, 89, 90 
Sulzberger, Arthur Hays, 10 
Sunday, Billy, 33 
Swartout, Jerry, 114 
Swift, Jonathan, 13 1 

Take a Look at Yourself 303 
Tarbell, Ida, 309 
Tarkington, Booth, 78, 79 
Taylor, Deems, 191 
Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 202, 

Tchaikovsky, 148 
Tead, Ordway, 300, 301 
Tennyson, Alfred, 56, 58 
They Had to See Paris, 65, 283 
Thomas, Elmer, 260, 263 
Thomas, Lowell, 16, 100 
Thompson, Thelma, 143, 144 
Thoreau, Henry David, 33, 88 
Thorndike, Dr. Edward, 222 
Tolstoy, Leo, 90, 91, 148 
Toscanini, Arturo, 229 
Truman, Harry S., 117 
Tunney, Gene, 96 
Tuttle, Stella Weston, 250 
Twelve Against the Gods, 145 

Unterm yer, Samuel, 228, 233 

Valery, 5 

Van de Velde, Dr., 313, 314 
Vase, Sir Harry, 63 
Vauclain, Samuel, 225 

Walden, 33 
War and Peace, 90 
Washington, Booker T., 118 
Washington, George, 180, 187, 254 
Watson, Dr. John, 313 
Webster, "Mother/* 101, 102 
West of the Water Tower , 285 
Whaley, Frank J., 103, 105 



What Is Wrong With Marriage ?, 

What Life Should Mean to You, 

What Men Live By, 59 
White, Sam, 69 
White, William Allen, 196 
Whithouse, Stuart, 153 
Whitmg, Percy H., 278 
Whitman, Walt, 80, 168, 195 
Whose Fault?, 91 
Why Be Tired, 200 
Williams, Roland L., 215 
Wilson, David Alec, 269 
Wilson, Woodrow, 117 
Wind in the Sahara, 264 

Windsor, Duke of, 185 
Winkler, John K., 306, 310 
Wood, Sam, 137, 138 
W T ood, Reverend William, 293 
Words to Live By — A Little Tteas - 
ury of Inspiration and Wisdom, 

Yates, Margaret Tayler, 158, 159 
Yates, Commander Robert Ra- 
leigh, 158 

You and Heredity, 139 
You Must Relax, 199 
Yu tang, Lin, 20 

Zoroaster, 160